The Work of the National LGBT Cancer Network

The invisibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the majority of cancer and health data is a significant barrier in addressing our population’s health, as is the often unwelcoming care LGBT receive in the health system. Until health care facilities and providers become knowledgeable about and respectful of LGBT individuals, even free screening services will continue to be underutilized and members of our community will continue to be at higher risk of having our cancer detected at a later stage, when it is more difficult to treat.

We founded The National LGBT Cancer Network in 2006 to help LGBT cancer survivors, and those at risk. Our mission is to:

  • TrainĀ health care providers to offer more culturally sensitive, safe, and welcoming care to LGBT patients;
  • EducateĀ the LGBT community about our increased cancer risks and the importance of screening/early detection; and
  • AdvocateĀ for LGBT inclusion in national cancer organizations, research, and media

The LGBT Cancer Network helps health care facilities and cancer organizations implement culturally-sensitive care and advocates for the funding necessary to get answers about cancer in the LGBT population. Thankfully, we are not alone in our work. There are many, many committed individuals and organizations working on those issues with us. It will take all of us to make a difference in the lives of LGBT people with cancer and those at risk.

  • T.O Blank. Gay Men and Prostate Cancer: Invisible Diversity. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 23, 12, 2005. p 2593-2596.
  • S.D .Cochran, V.M. Mays, D. Bowen, .S Gage, D. Bybee, S.J. Roberts, R.S. Goldstein, A. Robison, E.J. Rankow, J. White. Cancer-related risk indicators and preventive screening behaviors among lesbians and bisexual women. American Journal of Public Health, 91, 4, 2001. p 591-597.
  • S.L Dibble, S.A Roberts, B. Nussey. Comparing breast cancer risk between lesbians and their heterosexual sisters. Women’s Health Issues, 14, 2, 2004. p 60-68.
  • J.A Dilley, K.W. Simmons, M.J. Boysun, B.A. Pizacani, M.J. Stark. Demonstrating the Importance and Feasibility of Including Sexual Orientation in Public Health Surveys: Health Disparities in the Pacific Northwest. American J of Public Health, 100, 3, 2010. p 460-467.
  • J.M Grant, L.A Mottet, J. Tanis; National Transgender Discrimination Survey Report on Health and Health Care. The National Center for Transgender Inequality. October 2010.
  • J. E. Heck, R.L. Sell, S.S. Gorin. Health Care Access Among Individuals Involved in Same-Sex Relationships. American Journal of Public Health, 96, 6, 2006. p 1111-1118.