PDF of In the News 0611

Homosexual men were 1.9 times more likely to report a cancer diagnosis than were heterosexual men, and lesbian and bisexual women who survived the disease were at least twice as likely to report fair or poor health than were heterosexual female survivors.

The analysis yielding these findings was undertaken by a team headed by Ulrike Boehmer, PhD, of the Boston (Massachusetts) University School of Public Health, to address what the investigators deemed an information gap. “Lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations are not part of cancer surveillance, resulting in scarce information about the cancer survivorship of these populations,” they noted in the journal Cancer.

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Data culled from the 2001, 2003, and 2005 California Health Interview surveys revealed that 7,252 women and 3,690 men had received a cancer diagnosis as adults. Although more homosexual men than heterosexual men reported a cancer diagnosis, the two groups had similar assessments of their health status in survivorship.

Conversely, no significant differences in cancer prevalence according to sexual orientation were seen among the women, but lesbian and bisexual female survivors were 2.0 and 2.3 times more likely, respectively, than female heterosexual survivors to report fair or poor health. ONA