Nav: Home

Coverage of celebrity's mastectomy has improved awareness of reconstructive breast surgery options

September 28, 2015

A new study found improved public awareness about reconstructive breast surgery options following Angelina Jolie's decision to undergo a double mastectomy and subsequent reconstruction. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the results indicate that media coverage can serve as a tipping point for improving the general public's knowledge about a particular health topic.

In 2013, Angelina Jolie's decision to have both of her breasts removed--which she chose because she carries a BRCA1 gene mutation that puts her at increased risk of developing breast cancer--generated considerable media attention. To see if such media coverage had an effect on public awareness, a team led by David Benjamin Lumenta, MD, of the Division of Plastic, Aesthetic, and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the Medical University of Graz, in Austria, conducted two online polls with 1000 female participants each--one before and the other after the celebrity's announcement.Following the announcement, there was an increase of 4 percentage points in the proportion of women aware that reconstructive breast surgery is possible after the surgical removal of one or both breasts (from 88.9 to 92.6 percent). There were even greater increases in awareness that breast reconstruction can be achieved with the use of one's own tissue (11 percentage point increase, from 57.6 to 68.9 percent) and that it can be done during the breast-removal operation (19 percentage point increase, from 40.5 to 59.5 percent). One-fifth of participants of the second poll indicated that the media coverage about Angelia Jolie's announcement made them "deal more intensively with the topic of breast cancer."

"This is the first prospective report to prove the media's effect on the healthcare-related issue of breast cancer among the general public, which was based on a serendipitous design: the initial poll on breast reconstruction was conducted a month before Mrs. Jolie's announcement, triggering a timely repetition thereafter in a second poll," said Dr. Lumenta. "Since individual choice will become a driving force for patient-centered decision-making in the future, cancer specialists should be aware of public opinion when consulting patients with breast cancer."
-end-


Wiley

Related Breast Cancer Articles:

Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.
Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.
More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.
Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.
Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.
More Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...