J Community Genet. 2018 May 20. doi: 10.1007/s12687-018-0370-8. [Epub ahead of print]
Inequities in genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer: implications for public health practice.
The Ontario Breast Screening Program for women with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer is one of the first international models of a government-funded public health service that offers systematic genetic screening to women at a high risk of breast cancer. However, since the implementation of the program in 2011, enrolment rates have been lower than anticipated. Whilst there may be several reasons for this to happen, it does call into consideration the 'inverse equity law', whereby the more advantaged in society are the first to participate and benefit from universal health services. An outcome of this phenomenon is an increase in the health divide between those that are at a social advantage versus those that are not. Using an intersectionality lens, this paper explores the role of the social determinants of health and social identity in creating possible barriers in the access to genetic screening for hereditary breast cancer, and the implications for public health practice in recognising and ameliorating these differences.
BRCA; Breast cancer; Disparity; Equity; Genetic testing; Hereditary breast cancer; Intersectionality; Public health; Social determinants of health; Social justice; Social location