The National LGBT Cancer Network
Lesbians and cancer
Definitive research on the incidence of cancer in lesbians has yet to be conducted and published. However, there is a body of evidence suggesting that lesbians have a dense cluster of risk factors, significantly raising their risk of developing breast cancer as well as several other types of cancer. Some conflicting evidence also exists, highlighting the need for state of the art research. Again, increased risks are coupled with lower screening rates for this population, resulting in cancers being detected when they are more difficult to treat.
For lesbians, the four cancer risk factors most often cited are:
- Increased rates of smoking
- Increased rates of alcohol consumption
- Delayed childbirth until after age 30 or not having biological children at all
- Higher rates of obesity and high fat diets
notesAmerican Journal of Public Health 2001, Vol 91, 591-597
Archives of Family Medicine 2000, 9, 843-853.
International Journal of Eating Disorders 1992, 11, 253-259.
Journal of Family Practice. 1998,139-43.
Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, 1998, Vol 2, #3 93-101
Oncology Nursing Forum, 2002, Vol 29, E1-E7
Journal of Community Health, 2005, Vol 30 23-37
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2001, Vol 21, 142-149
American Journal of Public Health, 2001, Vol 91, 976-979
American Journal of Public Health, 2007, Vol 97, 1134-1140
Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, 2002, Vol 6, 91-95
For more information, browse any of the articles below.
- Lesbians and Ovarian Cancer
- Nearly One In Four Gay And Lesbian Adults Lack Health Insurance
- New National Survey Shows Financial Concerns and Lack of Adequate Health Insurance are Top Causes for Delay by Lesbians in Obtaining Health Care
- Healthy People 2020 Lesbian Health Fact Sheet
- Lesbian Disclosure to Health Care Providers and Delay of Care
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