Originally published April 2017

Sexual and gender minorities (SGMs), including individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI), bear a disproportionate cancer burden. Such disparities in cancer-specific outcomes among SGM populations stem from the unique cancer risks, needs, and challenges faced by SGM populations, including discrimination and other psychosocial issues, as well as gaps in patient-provider communication and quality of care. For example, lesbian and bisexual women have higher rates of obesity and a greater risk of breast cancer, gay men have a greater risk of anal cancer, and people who are LGBTI are more likely to smoke cigarettes than their heterosexual cisgender counterparts. In addition, SGM populations exhibit low rates of uptake of cancer screening, in part because of lower rates of insurance coverage, exclusion from traditional cancer screening campaigns, and previous experiences of discrimination when interacting with health care systems and providers. As a result, SGM patients with cancer may be more likely to present with late-stage disease.

Read more in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.