Resisting the screening imperative: patienthood, populations and politics in prostate cancer detection technologies for the UK

Faulkner, Alex (2012) Resisting the screening imperative: patienthood, populations and politics in prostate cancer detection technologies for the UK. Sociology Of Health & Illness, 34 (2). pp. 221-233. ISSN 1467-9566

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Abstract

The introduction of mass screening programmes in the UK has been controversial. It is instructive to examine medical conditions for which screening has been actively considered but not introduced, such as prostate cancer. Incidence of the disease has escalated during the last 20 years, partly due to the upsurge in use of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) detection technology. The controversy is moving into a new phase, associated with the development of new molecular genetic biomarkers and tests derived from genome-association studies. The paper outlines the most recent scientific and technological developments for the three types of detection technology – PSA, genetic, and genomic. Applying concepts of risk, technology governance and technology expectations, it is shown that central public health governance actors continue to resist the tidal wave of new technologies through a variety of increasingly diverse governance modes. In the case of PSA, a governance trend moving beyond ‘responsibilisation’ to citizen rights is shown, whereas in the case of genetic tests and genomic risk profiling, state public health agencies are shown to be engaging in a form of technology expectation management, as it responds to a new marketplace of private commercial testing and mediatised science-based visions of future healthcare.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Alex Faulkner
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2012 09:47
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2012 09:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43102
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