The surge in the number of women opting for a double mastectomy to treat breast cancer could have been influenced by the coverage of celebrity cancer treatments, a new study found.

A team of researchers from the University of Michigan studied 727 articles released in major print publications in the United States about breast cancer diagnoses and choice treatments of celebrities.

Between 2000 and 2012, 17 celebrities decided to go public with their condition and chosen treatments.

Out of these celebrities, four went for a double mastectomy. The research team found that 45 percent of the media coverage on these celebrities mentioned this specific procedure.

There were 10 celebrities who chose the single mastectomy (breast conserving treatment) route. The team found that out of the media coverage on these celebrities, 26 percent discussed the specific procedure.

During this period, the number of breast cancer patients in the U.S. who had a double mastectomy at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center surged by almost five-fold.

"People underestimate the impact of celebrity news reports on medical knowledge. It's naive to think this is not a source from where we get our medical information," said study author Dr. Michael Sabel, a breast cancer surgeon and the Center's surgical oncology chief.

Recently, the patients come in and tell their doctors that they want to have a bilateral mastectomy. More patients are using the information they get outside, including the Internet, to come to their own conclusions about their preferred treatment.

"Much more often, patients are not coming in asking what their options are for treatment," added Sabel.

In September 2015, a study confirmed the so-called "Angelina Jolie Effect." Researchers from Austria proved that the actress' elective surgeries and proactive take on breast cancer helped improve the general awareness on the testing and treatments for genetic cancer.

Researchers from the University of Michigan stressed that many women arrive at their decision to get double mastectomy based on incorrect information about the procedure's risks and benefits.

The problem now is that since many patients see their surgeons with a decision already, surgeons have reduced chances to educate their patients.

The findings of the new study were published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology journal on April 6.

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