The National LGBT Cancer Network
Digest 2 (5/11- 12/11)
May 23, 2011
Gay Men Report More Negative Impact Following Prostate Cancer Treatment
According to a new study, gay men who had treatment for prostate cancer reported more negative effects on their lives than straight men (or men who weren't identified) did. Gay men reported more trouble with urine and bowel functioning as well as how the treatment affected their sexual functioning. They also related feeling more depressed and worried about the cancer coming back. The study did not say exactly why these differences occurred, but they were hoping to continue the research to find out.
Issues of LGBTQ nurses beginning to be documented
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) nurses make up one of the largest subgroups within the profession of nursing, yet there is very little research on issues of discrimination in nursing.
1 out of 5 LGBT nurses reported an unfriendly workplace, and of the remainder, many reported simply a "barely tolerant" workplace.
This study used a survey which showed that many workplaces lacked policies that would make LGBTQ nurses feel safer and more included. Some of the LGBTQ nurses reported that they had been discriminated against or verbally harassed by coworkers, supervisors or patients. The LGBTQ nurses expressed a need for a professional organization that would educate the nursing profession and the general population about LGBTQ issues.
Cancer Risk in HIV Associated with Immune System and Risk Factors
This study's main goal was to determine how much of the increased cancer risk in people living with HIV resulted from their disease, how much due to their lowered immune systems, and how much was due to risk factors, such as smoking. They found that risks for cancers associated with AIDS like Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), were increased 199 and 15 times among those living with HIV. These two were the only ones associated with the amount of HIV in the blood.
The study also found the risk of anal cancer was 55 times higher; the risk of Hodgkin's disease was 19 times higher; the risk of melanoma was 1.8 times higher; and the risk of liver cancer was also 1.8 times higher for those living with HIV. These cancers seemed to be primarily associated with an impaired immune system. Other cancers, such as lung and oral cancers were associated with both immune suppression and risk factors like smoking. Interestingly, the risk of prostate cancer was actually lower in those living with HIV, compared with those not infected with the virus.
Legalizing Same Sex Marriage Benefits LGB residents, Married or Not
A recent study (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2011) found that gay men who live in states where same-sex marriage is legal are healthier, have less stress, make fewer doctor visits and have lower health-care costs regardless of whether they are married themselves. This study, with over 1200 participants, found these changes in the year after marriage equality was passed compared with the year before.
Another study from last year (Haas, et al., 2011) had several important findings. They found that LGB people in states without policies that protected them were almost five times more likely than those in other states to have more mental disorders. They also found that when states passed constitutional bans on same sex marriage, mood disorders, like depression, increased by 1/3 among the LGB population in those states. There was no increase among the non-LGB population in those states. Even in states that did not enact bans, mood disorders among LGB people still increased during the same time, possibly due to the coverage of the fights in other states.
Hatzenbuehler,M., O'Cleirigh, C., Grasso, C., Mayer, K., Safren, S. and Bradford, J. (2011). Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Health Care Use and Expenditures in Sexual Minority Men: A Quasi-Natural Experiment. American Journal of Public Health. doi: 10.2105/ AJPH.2011.300382
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