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Addressing inequitable uptake in the Newfoundland and Labrador colorectal cancer screening program

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Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest estimated 2010 mortality rates from colorectal cancer (CRC) in the country for both men and women. In March 2010, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced it would introduce a population-based CRC screening program to address this serious health issue. Research has shown that uptake of cancer screening varies across social and economic factors. Unequal rates of uptake and subsequent unequal rates of mortality based on lower socio-economic conditions are unjust and therefore inequitable. Addressing inequitable uptake of screening is not considered in the research supporting CRC population-based screening and is therefore a limitation of the new screening program in Newfoundland and Labrador. This paper shows that the new Newfoundland and Labrador CRC screening program should address the problem of inequitable uptake and recommends how research could help achieve this.
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