Growing up in Windsor, Jane McArthur recognized the Ambassador Bridge as a defining feature of the landscape. A doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Windsor, she hopes that increasing attention paid to health risks on the job amidst COVID-19 will help women working at the bridge see their concerns about breast cancer addressed.
“In interviews with women who worked at this border crossing, I listened to their personal stories as they talked about the complex risk factors for breast cancer,” McArthur writes in an article published Sunday in the Conversation, which shares news and views from the academic and research community. “Largely unheard, these women’s stories are a new landscape and a symbolic bridge to cross in efforts for environmental breast cancer prevention.”
McArthur says that messaging around breast cancer suggests that lifestyle factors are to blame for the disease.
“Environmental and occupational risk factors don’t get the same attention as individual risks,” she writes. “To prevent more breast cancers, research and risk strategies should include gender, racialization, social class, ethnicity, migration status, geographic location, environment, and occupation among other contributions to inequalities in risk.”
She concludes that ignoring workplace and environmental risks is a failed approach: “Deeply entrenched institutional risks for breast cancer must be challenged to build an effective public health strategy towards primary prevention of breast cancer.”
Read the entire piece, “Blaming women for breast cancer ignores environmental risk factors,” in the Conversation.