An increase in women with breast cancer choosing double mastectomy may be influenced by media coverage of celebrities, a new study finds.
From 2000 to 2012, 17 celebrities publicly disclosed their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed 727 articles from major U.S. print publications that covered these celebrity diagnoses. Results are published in Annals of Surgical Oncology.
Four celebrities underwent double mastectomy, and 45 percent of the media coverage about their diagnoses mentioned that. Of the 10 celebrities who had a single mastectomy or breast conserving therapy, 26 percent of the media coverage discussed it.
During that time, the number of women with breast cancer who underwent double mastectomy at the University of Michigan rose nearly five-fold.