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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2006 May;58(2):114-23. Epub 2006 Apr 4.

Genetic testing for hereditary cancers: the impact of gender on interest, uptake and ethical considerations.

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Hereditary Cancer Program, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Genetic testing promises earlier intervention and more successful outcomes for individuals at risk for hereditary breast/ovarian and colorectal cancer. Research shows that gender influences health and access to health care services. In this paper, we review theoretical issues of gender, and research outcomes, in relation to genetic testing for hereditary cancers. We argue that integrating a gender analysis into assessment of new technologies and health programs is necessary to improve appropriateness, accessibility and effectiveness. Attention to gender is also critical to developing a deeper understanding of the ethical issues (both benefits and harms) raised by new genetic technologies.

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