Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Cancer Survivors Face More Difficulties with Care

November 9, 2019

Patients with cancer who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual face disparities in the care that they receive, according to study findings.

Patients with cancer who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual face disparities in the care that they receive, according to study findings.

Researchers from Boston University, Boston Medical Center and Harvard Medical School examined the data of more than 70,500 cancer survivors to determine if there was a difference in care and quality of life based on sexual orientation. Among the group, 1,931 people self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) or other non-heterosexual orientation.

They found that overall, more LGB women than men faced disparities. For instance, 42.7% of LGB women had more difficulty accessing care compared with 28% of heterosexual women. In addition, LGB women had higher odds of poor physical and mental quality of life and trouble concentrating compared with heterosexual women.

Although LGB men had similar access to care as heterosexual men, they faced greater odds of difficulty concentrating compared with heterosexual men and poor mental quality of life.

“Access to care among sexual minority cancer survivors needs improvement,” the researchers concluded.


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