UBC project examines the LGBT experience with breast and gynecological cancers

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are leading the first nationwide project on how sexual and gender minorities experience cancer, highlighting previously overlooked communities’ perspectives on cancer care.

Led by Prof. Mary Bryson, Director of the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, and funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the three-year Cancer’s Margins project will look at how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cancer patients and members of their support networks in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia experience breast and gynecological cancers from and diagnosis to care, treatment and support networks.

Researchers want to understand what individuals value about their care and support networks, how they educate themselves, and what they consider culturally competent care.

“People try to look for health information in communities that reflect themselves,” said Bryson, also a professor in the Faculty of Education.

“We’ve found that these groups don’t have access to cancer health care, or cancer support communities that map onto their own support networks and community values.”

According to Statistics Canada, people are less likely to have a general practitioner and therefore to participate in cancer screening. Canadian GP’s typically have little or no knowledge of the cancer risks these populations face.

According to Bryson, the LGBT experience with breast and gynecological cancers is unique in that typical cancer screening initiatives, cancer treatment and support protocols don’t anticipate the inclusion of sexual .

“A transgender man may still be at risk for developing gynecologic cancers but he may not be participating in regular screening because none of the health promotions and awareness material is directed at him and his GP may be unaware of his risk.”

For more information, visit the ’s Margins website at: www.queercancer.org

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bisexual, lesbian women less likely to get pap tests

Jun 07, 2011

A new study finds that young bisexual and lesbian women are less likely to get Pap tests than straight women, while young bisexual women face a higher risk of being diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases.

BreastScreen: balancing benefits and harms

Nov 04, 2011

New research has questioned the relative impact of mammographic screening in reducing deaths from breast cancer, concluding that it is not responsible for most of the recent reduction in mortality rates and ...

Recommended for you

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

4 hours ago

(AP)—Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.

Penn team makes cancer glow to improve surgical outcomes

4 hours ago

The best way to cure most cases of cancer is to surgically remove the tumor. The Achilles heel of this approach, however, is that the surgeon may fail to extract the entire tumor, leading to a local recurrence.

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

17 hours ago

Cancer cells are gluttons. We have long known that they monopolize large amounts of sugar. More recently, it became clear that some tumor cells are also characterized by a series of features such as mobility or unlikeliness ...

User comments