LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning) people are at particular risk for cancer because of a range of disparities, including lifestyle factors like smoking, lower mammography screening adherence among bisexual women and transgender people, difficulty accessing care, and other issues stemming from minority status and discrimination.
Sexual minorities are also less likely to be able to access care after surviving cancer — a time when patients are particularly vulnerable to lower quality of life, disease, and death — according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers. Published in the journal CANCER, the study also finds that access to care affects quality of life for LGBTQ cancer survivors more than for their heterosexual counterparts.
The study’s findings speak to the importance of expanding data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity, “and against the Trump Administration’s attempts to roll back data collection,” says study lead author Dr. Ulrike Boehmer, associate professor of community health sciences at BUSPH. “We need to be able to document sexual and gender minorities’ health-related disparities to then work towards improvement and measure any progress we are making.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on June 14