Ever notice when a celebrity announces they have cancer, the story ends up all over the news?  This is not an entirely bad idea because positive marketing actually comes from it. One example is something we like to call the “Angelina Jolie Effect”. In 2013, Angelina Jolie announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through a double mastectomy after genetic testing that told her she carried the BRCA1 gene. Angelina lost her mother to ovarian cancer and her aunt to breast cancer. After the surgery, she described the process in detail for the NYTimes in hope that other women would benefit from her experience. Well, guess what? It worked!  Two months after her Op-Ed, other women with family histories of breast cancer decided to take the leap and undergo gene testing to be safe.

Celine Thum, an emergency medicine physician in Brooklyn, New York, shared her take on the story for ABC news:  “Researchers in the United Kingdom found that testing for the BRCA mutation – a hereditary genetic glitch known to put a person at higher risk for breast and ovarian cancers – doubled in the six months following Jolie’s bombshell announcement that she had undergone a prophylactic double mastectomy because she tested positive for the mutation”. Many women actually mentioned Angelina Jolie when getting checked for hereditary breast cancer. Researchers believe the announcement actually made women go through testing that would not have normally.

Joan Lunden on Cover of People MagazineAnother example recently includes Joan Lunden, who actually showed herself bald on the cover of People magazine, one of the most well known magazines out there. You might know Joan from ‘Good Morning America’ and the ‘Today Show’. Joan decided to announce her diagnosis by posing bald and giving a voice to other women.She was diagnosed earlier this year in June with an aggressive type of breast cancer and has undergone chemotherapy and a lumpectomy.  After seeing the cover of People magazine, other cancer patients shared their bald photographs to show support.

By representing herself on the cover, Joan wanted to help others and show that she was not afraid to let the world know what she looks like with cancer. She wanted to show the population that it is not the end of the world. Joan now serves as a correspondent for Today’s #PinkPower campaign during breast Cancer Awareness Month, which starts today. The Today Show encourages you or anyone you know to help spread awareness by sending your pictures on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the “#PinkPower”.

Many other celebrities have battled with cancer and were also involved in their own cancer prevention programs and foundations. Cancer could happen to anyone. The celebrity effect shows that certain celebrities have gone public with their cancer battles and in return their efforts helped spread awareness for a good cause. Angelina influenced other women to undergo counseling to be safe and Joan taught others to love who they are and to not be afraid. Now that it is October and Breast Cancer Awareness month, make sure you and your loved ones know how important annual mammograms are and be sure to wear Pink! Have a plan to detect this disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

Here at DiagnosticWorks, we help individuals who are determined to manage how their health dollars are spent. DiagnosticWorks provides patients access to diagnostic medical services they need at rates they can afford. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Early detection saves lives.

To find out more about our network of radiology and diagnostic centers, and for more information on how we can assist you and your loved ones find affordable diagnostic healthcare, go to www.DiagnosticWorks.com.