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

For more information, browse any of the articles below:

  • American 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