NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1047237
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1478-2103
The Individualization of Risk and Responsibility in Breast Cancer Prevention Education Campaigns
Sweeney, Ellen
Policy Futures in Education, v12 n7 p945-960 2014
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. The incidence rates are such that one in nine Canadian women will be diagnosed in her lifetime. While social science research has demonstrated the influence of social, political, economic and environmental factors on health outcomes, many still emphasize the role of traditional risk factors for breast cancer, such as family history or diet. However, these factors are unable to account for the increased incidence of the disease in industrialized countries. Thus, there is a call for more attention to environmental links to breast cancer, and as a result, it has become necessary to consider the "everyday exposures" that we experience in our daily lives, which often include mammary carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals through exposure to industrial chemicals and toxic substances in consumer products. In this article, the author explores and critiques two breast cancer education campaigns which are promoted by the Canadian federal government and by mainstream breast cancer organizations. Both the responsibilization paradigm and the promotion of precautionary consumption practices engage with issues of risk and responsibility at the level of the individual. This focus on modifiable behaviours and lifestyle factors is highly problematic as it does not adequately account for other determinants of health, particularly those outside one's control, such as environmental contaminants. Only a truly precautionary approach can be effective in protecting women's health.
Symposium Journals. P.O. Box 204, Didcot, Oxford, OX11 9ZQ, UK. Tel: +44-1235-818-062; Fax: +44-1235-817-275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A