LGBTQ+ For members of the LGBTQ+ community, receiving a cancer diagnosis can be especially frightening. These groups are able to assist.
It’s critical that LGBTQ+ individuals navigating a cancer diagnosis and treatment find community, education, advocacy, and support.
Even in the best of situations, navigating the healthcare system as a member of a sexual or gender minority may be difficult; this difficulty increases when faced with a potentially devastating diagnosis like cancer. It’s crucial to locate advocates who can guide you through the various cancer types that impact the LGBTQ+ community, as well as assist you in determining your own risk factors, obtaining the necessary screenings, locating the best cancer physicians, and, if necessary, holding your hand during treatment. A list of some of the top organizations is provided below.
National LGBT Cancer Network
This diverse group makes an effort to serve the community in all respects. Deputy Director Chelbye McIntyre explains, “We see our approach as three-pronged,” outlining their priorities as:
Teaching members of the LGBTQ+ community about their particular cancer risks and how to get important screening,
Educating healthcare professionals to recognize this population’s requirements,
Speaking out for LGBTQ+ cancer survivors everywhere. Peer support groups and research partnerships are provided by the network to enable LGBTQ+ individuals to locate clinical trials and take part in scientific investigations.
Another distinctive feature of the network is that it runs its own health programs. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funds the Tobacco-Related Cancer Project there. The network reports that whereas 1 in 5 members of the LGBTQ+ community smoke, only 1 in 6 members of the broader public do so. The percentage may be higher than one in three for transgender persons.
This nonprofit organization, which is led by social workers, psychologists, and oncologists, emphasizes peer-to-peer assistance for gay and bisexual men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It focuses especially on underprivileged groups like Black American males.
Malecare, which originated in the LGBTQ+ cancer community, provides a wealth of knowledge on how prostate cancer can affect any male. Tens of thousands of patients at various stages of the disease are served by the support groups that Malecare sponsors. Groups for homosexual men with prostate cancer, patients in the early or late stages of the disease, those with erectile dysfunction, and even spouses and caregivers of cancer patients are available for participants to select from.
While breast cancer affects roughly 2,800 men annually in the US, according to the American Cancer Society, Malecare also offers resources for other cancers that might impact males in addition to prostate cancer.
National LGBT Cancer Project
This organization, which bills itself as the first in the US to provide LGBTQ+ cancer survivors with support and advocacy, has grown to assist some 18,000 people annually. The group originated from Malecare, the previously stated organization that helps and educates men who have malignancies of the prostate and other organs.
Darryl Mitteldorf, the founder and social worker behind Malecare, says that after the organization started serving an increasing number of males, he and his colleagues decided to concentrate on the needs of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. They expanded the scope of their work, hiring female social workers and clinicians to work with transgender and intersex clients in addition to their original clientele.
According to Mitteldorf, one advantage of the initiative is that it raises awareness of the distinctive ways cancer manifests in the LGBTQ+ community. Transgender women, for example, might not be aware that they have prostate cancer because they aren’t always focused on their prostate. Additionally, these customers frequently require assistance navigating the healthcare system after realizing they have a problem.
“They don’t know what questions to ask when speaking to a health care provider,” Mitteldorf says. She also notes that uncomfortable feelings during the visit—which could start in the waiting area when they’re surrounded by cisgender men—add to the tension.
The National LGBT Cancer Project seeks to assist patients in coping with the physical, psychological, and sexual aspects of their diagnosis, connect them with support networks as they travel through their journey, and help them find qualified medical professionals who have experience working with LGBTQ+ patients.
Require a specialist or other healthcare supplier who is well versed within the needs of the LGBTQ+ populace? See no advance than GLMA, an organization committed to progressing wellbeing value for LGBTQ+ individuals, counting those with cancer. The organization offers one of the largest searchable supplier databases within the nation.
âIn arrange to be recorded within the catalog, suppliers make their possess profiles, and in arrange to do so must certify their commitment to correspondence for LGBTQ+ patients, says Alex Sheldon, GLMA’s official executive. And numerous of the suppliers within the registry are GLMA members.
Among GLMAâs various organizational organizations is its collaboration with the U.S. Preventive Administrations Assignment Drive, a volunteer board of specialists in illness anticipation and evidence-based medication. Concurring to Sheldon, GLMA gives a sexual and sexual orientation minority viewpoint to the errand constrain, which this year implied counting LGBTQ+ oncologists exhortation when compiling suggestions for cancer screenings.
American Cancer Society
This well-known national nonprofit provides LGBTQ+ individuals and their families with a wealth of resources. The organization’s website offers a searchable database of options that can connect you with everything from financial assistance to housing during treatment, in addition to a variety of educational materials on the specific cancer risks faced by this demographic.
LGBTQ+ Allies Engagement Group: The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network fights for cancer sufferers at all levels of government. People who want to develop policies that lessen health inequities in the LGBTQ+ population are drawn to this group. Allies go to Pride celebrations across the country to make connections, collaborate with other organizations, and spread the word about legislation that will help LGBTQ+ cancer patients.