'Angelina Jolie Effect' Still Having an Impact on Breast Cancer

ABC News Blogs

Breast Cancer 101: The Angelina Effect

Now watching

Next video starts in : 7 Play

Breast Cancer 101: The Angelina Effect

In May, actress Angelina Jolie stunned the world when she revealed that she'd undergone a preventive double mastectomy after genetic testing showed she was at a high risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Since her disclosure, there has been a marked increase in genetic testing at treatment centers across the country, according to the National Society of Genetic Counselors. The increase is being called "the Angelina Jolie effect," although one doctor sees it a bit differently.

Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy Fueling National Debate

"I really think of it as the Angelina gift, it is really kicking up the whole conversation," said Dr. Marisa Weiss, director of breast health outreach at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pa., and president and founder of Breastcancer.org.

Angelina Jolie Loses Aunt to Breast Cancer: Should You Get BRCA Gene Testing?

Jolie revealed in a New York Times Op-Ed she made her decision to have a mastectomy after discovering she carries the BRCA1 gene mutation, the single rare gene mutation that produces a high risk of developing cancer.

One in 800 to one in 1,400 women are carriers of this mutation and the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 gene mutations account for between five and 10 percent of all breast cancer cases, according to the National Cancer Institute.

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off today, the doctor who performed Jolie's double mastectomy, Dr. Kristi Funk, of the Pink Lotus Breast Cancer Center in Beverly Hills, is speaking out about what every woman should know about the BRCA gene mutation and breast cancer.

"Genetic testing is easily done through a blood sample or just a swish-and-spit with Scope," Funk said today on a special "go pink" edition of " Good Morning America."

Go Pink: Take ABC's Breast Cancer Pledge

"The question becomes difficult when you try to say who is appropriate for testing so that is where the education really needs to step up," said Funk, who also believes that many more people may carry a BRCA mutation than current estimates suggest. "Of all Americans, one million of us carry a BRCA1 mutation but it will take 19 million high-risk people to find the one million. And those 18 million people then who don't have BRCA1 are high enough risk to test."

Funk's Pink Lotus clinic offers a five-question assessment on its website that takes one minute to complete and determines if testing is right for you.

Click HERE to Take Pink Lotus' Risk Assessment Quiz

The genetic risks for the BRCA1 gene mutation, according to Funk, go all the way back to third generation relatives on both the maternal and paternal sides of a woman's family.

"What you're looking for is for one of those relatives to either have breast cancer prior to age 50 or ovarian cancer at any age," Funk said on "GMA." "Dad can pass this gene down too."

How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

According to Breastcancer.org, a number of steps can lower someone's breast-cancer risk immediately. Those include limiting alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising three to four hours per week and avoiding cooking in plastics.

View Comments (62)

Recommended for You

  • Dixville Notch Casts First Votes in New Hampshire Primary

    The nine voters of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, became some of the first in the state -- and consequently, first in the nation -- to cast their ballots in the presidential primary in the early hours of Tuesday. New Hampshire has held the "First in the Nation" presidential primary since 1920, and…

    Good Morning America23 mins ago
  • 2 Trains Collide in Germany, 8 Dead, at Least 100 Injured

    Two morning commuter trains have collided in Bad Aibling in southern Germany, killing four people and injuring more than 100 others, police said.The train manufacturer, Meridian released a statement in German, saying two trains collided just after 7am local time.There is no detail on the condition…

    Good Morning America27 mins ago
  • Panda Cub Bei Bei Climbs a Tree With the Help of His Mom

    Bei Bei is moving up in the world.The Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda experienced the outdoors for the first time last week and now the nearly six-month-old cub is scaling trees—-with the help of his mom Mei Xiang, of course. The Washington DC based Zoo posted a video of the feat online this…

    Good Morning America
  • Countdown to New Hampshire With 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday's Primary

    Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House as residents of the Granite State cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation primary. With independents making up more than 40 percent of the electorate, the New Hampshire primary can often surprise, and that may be the case…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Girls' Star Lena Dunham Taking Time Off for 'Chronic' Illness

    The acclaimed HBO show "Girls" is back for a new season this month, but its biggest star will not being making press appearances due to a "chronic condition."Lena Dunham took to Instagram today to write, "I just wanted to let you know that, while I am so excited for Girls to return on Feb 21, I…

    Good Morning America
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rocked by Hurricane-Force Winds Heads Back to New Jersey

    A Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds overnight is sailing back to port in Bayonne, New Jersey. The ship left from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas. The company posted a message on Twitter saying that all guests are…

    Good Morning America
  • US Veteran Says He is 'ISIS Soldier,' Calls Bin Laden 'Beautiful Man,' Officials Say

    The FBI has arrested a former member of the Army on weapons charges after he allegedly expressed sympathy for ISIS, called Osama bin Laden "a beautiful man" and said the murder of government agents was "a hundred percent obligation," according to court documents filed in a Washington state federal…

    Good Morning America
  • Giant Rabbit From Scotland Looking for a Home

    The Scottish SPCA center in Glasgow has a 7-month-old continental giant rabbit up for adoption. The rabbit, Atlas, is already about the size of a Westie dog and is still expected to grow, according to a Feb. 8 press release from the Scottish SPCA. Atlas is not only the same size as a dog, but…

    Good Morning America
  • Dad Tells Other Fathers, 'Respect the Mother of Your Child' in Viral Facebook Post

    A U.K. dad’s advice to fellow dads “respect the mother of your child” has gone viral after being posted in a Facebook tribute to the mother of his 9-month-old son.Tony Emms, of Cresswell Northumberland, in the U.K., posted on Facebook last month a photo of his fiancé, Charlotte Sperry, sleeping…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Stays on Top at the Box Office

    "Kung Fu Panda 3" scored another box office win during Super Bowl weekend.The animated sequel earned an estimated $21 million in its second weekend of release.'Kung Fu Panda 3' Tops the Box Office'The Revenant' Tops Weekend Box OfficeThe Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" opened in second place,…

    Good Morning America
  • Peyton Manning Knows What He's Doing After Super Bowl Win

    Peyton Manning kept with tradition when it came to his Super Bowl celebration plans. The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers, 24-10. During a press conference after Sunday night's game, Manning said that he was "taking his kids to Disneyland" before he and his family…

    Good Morning America
  • WWE Wrestler Daniel Bryan to Retire

    Former WWE champion and professional wrestling star Daniel Bryan is retiring."Due to medical reasons, effective immediately, I am announcing my retirement. Tonight on Raw, I'll have a chance to elaborate. #gratitude," he tweeted on Monday.Read: Stone Cold Steve Austin: My Life After Pro…

    Good Morning America
  • Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning 'Very Much at Peace'

    Peyton Manning says he’s “very much at peace” as he contemplates retirement from the NFL just hours after winning his second Super Bowl title. Manning, 39, finished 13 for 23 for 141 yards in the Broncos’ 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s Super Bowl game at California’s Levi’s…

    Good Morning America
  • White House Asks Congress for $1.8 Billion to Fight Zika Virus

    The Obama administration is requesting $1.8 billion in emergency funding from Congress to fight the Zika virus in the United States and abroad, the White House announced today. The request comes after lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged the White House to address the spread of the virus, which is…

    Good Morning America
  • Dad's Piano-Playing Lullaby Soothes Baby Boy to Sleep in Seconds

    Take a look at little Samuel who couldn’t fall asleep because he had an ear infection. The moment his crafty dad starts playing his own version of the classic “Brahms’ Lullaby” however, the soothing sounds work like magic, putting the tiny tot to sleep within seconds.

    Good Morning America
  • Super Bowl 50: Beyonce Takes Fans Behind the Scenes of Her Performance

    Although Coldplay headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, all eyes were on Beyonce, who shared the stage with the British band along with pop star Bruno Mars.The singer, who announced her Formation World Tour right after the big game ended, is letting fans in on how her performance came…

    Good Morning America
  • 4 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Scoring Beyonce Tour Tickets

    Minutes after Beyonce announced her 2016 Formation World Tour during Super Bowl 50, fans flooded to her website looking for more information about the tour, and temporarily crashed the site. Fans have also been tweeting in anticipation and excitement for the ticket sales to go live. Securing…

    Good Morning America