According to several academic studies and news reports, Angelina Jolie’s decision to get tested for the BRCA gene, which indicates a higher risk for developing breast cancer, has had a major positive effect by inspiring others to follow her lead and get tested for the gene. An article in the Harvard Medical School Journal from 2016 reported that there was a huge spike in people getting tested for the Jolie gene after the actor went public with the results of her test. This is a good thing primarily because it means more people will be able to detect breast cancer earlier, which leads to better survival rates. But it gets even better than that. 

In December, Daily Mail reported that a new scientific breakthrough could help doctors predict when patients with the Jolie gene are most at risk for developing cancer, helping them get treatment earlier and sometimes prevent surgery altogether. We don’t think they give away Oscars for popularizing a life-saving genetic test — but maybe they should start. 

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