LGBTQ+ Cancer Support

A cancer diagnosis is stressful, especially for LGBTQ+ individuals who may encounter discrimination and other barriers during treatment. It's crucial that LGBTQ+ cancer patients be able to access quality medical care and support.

Research on LGBTQ+ cancer disparities shows that sexual and gender minority patients report lower satisfaction with their medical care and treatment than those who identify as heterosexual or cisgender.

Not only do many of these individuals not have access to the same level of quality health care as those who do not identify as LGBTQ+, but the fear of discrimination may prevent them from seeking the treatment they need.

Additionally, LGBTQ+ cancer patients may not have the support of their family or feel like they don’t belong in mainstream support groups. This is especially true of transgender patients or those who live in rural areas.

Thankfully, there are many support resources that those in the LGBTQ+ community can rely on as they navigate a cancer diagnosis.

General LGBTQ+ Cancer Support Groups & Other Resources:

Several national organisations support LGBTQ+ cancer patients by sharing information, conducting research, and providing helpful resources.

These groups include:

  • Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA): GLMA is the largest and oldest association of LGBTQ+ and allied health care providers. The group conducts research to improve health outcomes for those in the community, advocates to promote inclusive health care policies, and educates medical professionals on LGBTQ+ health.
  • National Coalition for LGBTQ Health: This group focuses on improving the health of LGBTQ+ individuals through advocacy, education, and research at the local and federal level.
  • National LGBT Cancer Network: The website for this group offers a wide array of cancer support resources and runs peer-support groups over Zoom for LGBTQ+ people who have cancer or are survivors.
  • National LGBT Cancer Project: Recognised as the nation’s first LGBTQ+ cancer survivor support and advocacy nonprofit, this organisation runs an online support community called “Out With Cancer.”
  • OutPatients: This organisation provides online peer support meetings for LGBTQ+ individuals to talk openly about their experiences with cancer.

LGBTQ+ cancer patients may also benefit from getting help from a professional therapist or counsellor. You can search for LGBTQ+ friendly therapists online or ask your cancer care team for recommendations.

Many cancer centers have social workers and therapists who can help patients come to terms with their diagnosis and navigate treatment.

A cancer diagnosis can make you feel overwhelmed, alone, and scared, but remember that help is available.

If you or a loved one is a member of the LGBTQ+ community who is also facing a cancer diagnosis, know that there are resources available to help you get the support and care that you need and deserve.

Resources like the ones listed above can help you get information about your disease, connect with other cancer patients in the community, and find affirming medical providers who can provide care in a respectful manner.

For further information, click here.