KATIE COURIC COLONOSCOPY

Getty

What the "Angelina Jolie Effect" Means for Breast Cancer Screening

Angelina Jolie was told she was in a "higher risk" category for breast cancer and after hearing she carried the bad genes, she went ahead with a double mastectomy. She then wrote about it in the New York Times. The U.S. experts, perhaps responding to this craziness, have come out recommending that women with a family history "not associated with an increased risk for mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes," should decidedly not seek routine genetic counseling or testing. The fact that women are driven to ask about genetic testing reflects our celebrity-obsessed culture, a strong fear of breast cancer and a somewhat earnest grasp of the "better safe than sorry" mantra which consumes many of us.