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Tag Archives: lgbt

Clinical Oncologists Lead the Movement to Improve Cancer Care for LGBT People

LizMargolies2by Liz Margolies, LCSW, Founder/Executive Director National LGBT Cancer Network

 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cancer patients (and those who love them) experience extra challenges after diagnosis and continuing many years post treatment. There is research to show that LGBT cancer survivors report lower satisfaction with their cancer care than heterosexual survivors and these differences extend to their quality of life following treatment.  Lesbian and bisexual cancer survivors are over twice as likely to report fair or poor health post treatment, compared to heterosexual female survivors. Gay, bisexual and transgender men have more psychological distress after surviving cancer than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. These studies are published but not well known, reflecting the invisibility of LGBT people within the healthcare system.  Last week, a huge change occurred in LGBT visibility and a professional commitment to address these health disparities: the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) released a position paper, calling out the impact of discrimination on LGBT people in society and within the healthcare system. More important than simply listing the additional difficulties LGBT cancer survivors face, the position paper recommends multiple actions that will correct the problems, with a focus on those that oncologists can take the lead in bringing about.  ASCO Issues Recommendations for Reducing Cancer Disparities among Sexual and Gender Minority Populations

 

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Minority Stress and Childhood Cancer

LGBTYouthby Michael G. Bare, MPH, Program Coordinator – National LGBT Cancer Network

 

Do LGBT youth have a higher prevalence of cancer than their non-LGBT brothers and sisters? To be honest, we don’t actually know. National cancer registries, which record all tumors, do not include information about sexual orientation or gender identity, leaving LGBT youth cancers hidden in the data. But, through some state health surveys, we do know that LGBT adults have higher cancer rates and higher prevalence of cancer risk factors.  Many of these risk factors are behaviors which began in adolescence, like smoking.

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LGBT Medical Care Concerns

ErinHavellby Erin Havel, Survivor

Accepting differences is part of personal emotional growth. Sometimes that acceptance is a difficult process. As a member of the LGBT minority it is easy to feel separate from the heterosexual majority. Whether that feeling of separation is based on personal experience, or witnessed struggle from our peers, there is a historical understanding that who we are can leave us vulnerable, depending on where we are. This is true even in medical care.

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