By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When celebrities talk about their health issues, should we care?

A recent study shows that when a well-known actress made her health related issues public, people listened and responded.

After Angelina Jolie announced she had tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation and had a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer, genetic testing soared 40-percent, according to the AARP study and remained at a higher level.

Melanie Corbman a genetic counselor at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia says testing saves lives.

“The average woman has a 12-percent risk to get breast cancer, but a woman with a BRCA has an 87-percent risk and that’s why Angelina Jolie took the steps that she did to protect herself and they go now I can understand it, I thought she just had the surgery cause she was famous.”

(credit: Cancer Treatment Centers of America)

(credit: Cancer Treatment Centers of America)

She wasn’t surprised the public listened and is glad so many acted.