LGBTQ+ Cancer Resources


Your Team
hero symbol

If you’re an LGBTQ+ colorectal cancer patient or survivor, Fight CRC’s resources are a great place to gain in-depth information about colon and rectal cancer treatments, symptom management, and survivorship care. Additionally, the following organizations offer great cancer resources specific to the LGBTQ+ community: 

At a Glance

While LGBTQ+ persons fall within general population screening guidelines for prevention and early detection of CRC, disparities in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship exist in the LGBTQ+ community. With more than an estimated 1 million LGBT cancer survivors in the U.S., it’s essential to understand why the disparities exist and develop ways to address them.  

Unfortunately, many cancer registries do not collect information on sexual orientation and gender identity, making it hard to know if screening guidelines are being met. This lack of data stunts research and policy development, awareness, and interventions that could address cancer disparities.

When diagnosed with cancer, LGBTQ+ patients have reported more fear and stigma than other patients as a result of past negative experiences within the healthcare system and/or fear of discrimination from a provider. Medical teams who are competent in LGBTQ+ cancer care can better meet their patient’s needs.

Medical teams who are LGBTQ+ community competent and experienced are the best choices for any community member who is recently diagnosed with cancer. A cancer diagnosis is difficult for anyone but especially for an LGBTQ+ community member who does not feel they can be open about their medical history, life, and family history. It is so important to find the right medical professional that can not only treat you for cancer but also that will make you feel comfortable and relaxed about sharing personal and medical facts. Take the time to find the right medical professional for you

- Michael Tomko, survivor

Data suggest that at the time of diagnosis, many people on the oncology team do not know about a patient's gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Being aware of these things is important to reduce patient anxiety, to direct patients to resources that are culturally appropriate, to avoid misgendering, and to be considerate of the patients’ emotional support team, which is often composed of friends versus family members.

Sometimes, the best thing for LGBTQ+ people to do is find a culturally competent provider to replace their current physician if there is a sense of judgment and lack of trust. Cultural competency describes knowledge of attitudes, behaviors, norms, and language used across cultures, in addition to awareness of policies that affect different cultural groups. Sexual orientation is part of a patient’s culture.

When providers and oncology teams invite patients to bring their whole self to appointments, this fosters trusting and positive relationships. The result could mean greater adherence to treatment plans and protocols and overall satisfaction.

To get more in-depth information about Cultural Competency Trainings, Barriers to LGBT Healthcare, LGBT Survivorship issues and the LGBT Community’s Disproportionate Cancer Burden, visit the National LGBT Cancer Network. Their website also includes a database of LGBTQ+ welcoming providers.

At Fight Colorectal Cancer, we believe that all forms of oppression based on gender identity are major barriers to public health. We fight for fair and equal access to treatment and survivorship care for all CRC patients and their loved ones and to ensure that every adult has access to timely preventive screening.

Taboo-ty Do Ask, Do Tell Podcast

In Fight CRC's Taboo-ty Podcast, Paige, an LGBTQ+ patient navigator, and Diogo, a patient navigator for cancer screening, discuss the challenges and barriers that the LGBTQ+ community may face in terms of colorectal cancer screening, misgendering and general access to care. This podcast has great insight regarding the importance of respect, communication, cultural competence and of course, colorectal cancer screening.

Join Fight CRC's Community of Champions

If you’ve been impacted by colorectal cancer, we need you! Join our Community of Champions to use your experience, share your story, and use your voice to create real change! 

2 thoughts on “LGBTQ+ Cancer Resources

  1. This is a very insightful LGBTQIA+ awareness article. Finding the right medical professional who can provide top-notch treatment for cancer while also making you feel comfortable and accepted can be a daunting task, especially for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. However, it is important to remember that you deserve nothing but the best care and support, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
    When searching for a medical professional, look for someone who is knowledgeable about LGBTQIA+ health issues and who takes the time to understand your unique needs and concerns. A caring and compassionate doctor or nurse can make all the difference when it comes to feeling comfortable sharing personal and medical information.
    Remember, you are not alone in your journey. There are many resources available to help you find the right medical professional and support network, including LGBTQIA+-friendly cancer organizations and advocacy groups. Don’t be afraid to seek out these resources and ask for help.

    1. Hi Rye, Thank you so much for you comment. We believe that equal access to care is crucial to patient outcomes. Your comment will empower others to seek out the best care and support rather than settle. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Comments are closed.