American Cancer Society finds ‘homophobia’ and ‘discrimination’ can ‘increase cancer risk’ in LGBTQ+ people

A leading cancer research organization released a first-of-its-kind study outlining how LGBTQ+ individuals face an “elevated prevalence” of certain risk factors linked to the disease.According to the American Cancer Society, there are certain “minority stress” factors associated with LGBTQ+ individuals, such as smoking, excess body weight, HIV and access to gender transition surgical procedures that exacerbate their vulnerability to developing cancer.”Perhaps the greatest health disparity faced by LGBTQ+ communities is the presumption-of-care gap, which is the fear that a provider will refuse care due to gender identity or sexual orientation,” the organization found in its 2024 Cancer Facts and Figures report. TEENAGE BRAIN CANCER PATIENT MISSES HOMECOMING, SO THE HOSPITAL THROWS A SURPRISE DANCE FOR HERThere are currently nine states where providers can refuse to perform gender transition procedures for transgender people.The 84-page report also found that compared to the general public, “LGBTQ+ cancer survivors are more likely to have poor physical and mental health, have higher prevalence of cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol use, and frequently experience homophobia and discomfort expressed by health care providers.”LGBTQ+ individuals face a barrage of “minority stress,” including experiences of “overt prejudice, rejection, discrimination, and internalized homophobia.””More than half of LGBTQ+ adults have experienced harassment, including slurs, microaggressions, sexual harassment, and violence, and 1 in 3 have experienced discrimination simply trying to use the bathroom,” the report notes. “This discrimination is most common among people of color and extends to health care settings.””Exposure to these stressors may lead to increased prevalence of mental health or substance use disorders and unhealthy behaviors that increase cancer risk,” the report stated. MORE YOUNGER PEOPLE ARE RECEIVING CANCER DIAGNOSES, STUDY FINDS — ESPECIALLY THIS TYPELesbians and bisexual women who are overweight are also at a greater risk for 12 different types of cancer, including uterine, pancreatic and breast. Gay men are also more likely to get preventative screenings for colorectal cancer, with 67% getting screened compared to 58% of straight men.The report notes that while “everyone is at risk” of developing cancer, 88% of people diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. are older than 50, and 57% are 65 and older. Certain behaviors, such as “smoking, having excess body weight, drinking alcohol, and eating an unhealthy diet,” greatly increase the risk of cancer.The report’s section that includes statistics of risk factors is based on the National Health Interview Survey for information on sexual orientation and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for gender identity across the U.S., which are both orchestrated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it noted.CANCER RISK RISES WITH THIS LITTLE-KNOWN SYNDROME. HERE’S HOW TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE THE GENETIC CONDITIONThe study comes as other medical groups have recently taken steps to be more “inclusive” of the LGBTQ+ community and push for widespread access to sex changes and hormone therapy for transgenders. Earlier this month, the American Psychological Association (APA) announced a new policy urging clinics to provide “unobstructed access” to gender-transitioning treatments for children.The American Medical Association (AMA) also states on its website that “improving access to gender-affirming care is an important means of improving health outcomes for the transgender population.” “Receipt of gender-affirming care has been linked to dramatically reduced rates of suicide attempts, decreased rates of depression and anxiety, decreased substance use, improved HIV medication adherence and reduced rates of harmful self-prescribed hormone use,” the organization claimed.Meanwhile, more than half of the members of the World Health Organization’s transgender health policy committee have no medical background and many are gender identity activists, a report in January found.  Fox News Digital reached out to ACS and the CDC for comment.
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