Disparities in healthcare effect many minority groups, as LGBTQIA history month comes to an end, we look at some of those inconsistencies in the queer community and how CHN can help. According to the American Cancer Society, “Potential cancer disparities in cervical, breast, lung, and other types of cancer are largely due to discrimination and other factors.” 1 These factors range from financial, fear, to family support. 

Preventative Care

When it comes to cancer screenings, treatment and care, money is a huge issue and “Compared to heterosexual, cisgender people, LGBTQ people are more likely to be unemployed, uninsured, lack access to health care, and delay health care—including care that’s critical to help prevent cancer and screen for it.”2 Our friends at CancerCare have some great resources. 


Homophobia and Transphobia

Another major hurdle many in the community face is homophobia and transphobia. This unfortunately extends to health care. “LGBT patients often face a combination of ignorance and discrimination in accessing health care. While homophobia and transphobia among healthcare providers is declining, it is still very much in existence.” 3 This discrimination can lead to queer people avoiding preventative care. “Previous or feared negative responses from health care providers frequently keep too many LGBT individuals from seeking routine care and cancer screening.”4 

How CHN Can Help

Queer people may face homophobia within their own family and thus many have a chosen family. Support from loved ones is a major factor in cancer care. The National LGBT Cancer Network Cancer states, “Family support is critical for cancer survivors. LGBT people create families in ways that are often invisible or unwelcome in a health care setting.”5  

This is where CHN comes in. Many studies have shown that emotional support during a cancer journey is critical to the mental health and stress relief of someone facing a diagnosis. For more than 40 years, our team has been connecting patients and caregivers with trained Support Volunteer mentors who understand. Matches are based on a shared diagnosis, similar treatments, or shared life experiences. Including sexual and gender identity. Our volunteers are trained to lend a listening ear – sharing their own experiences, providing hope, and inspiring courage for patients and caregivers. Get matched with someone who understands and has been there. 

LGBTQIA+ American Cancer Society

1-2. Cancer Research in LGBTQ Community | American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Www.cancer.org. https://www.cancer.org/research/acs-research-highlights/cancer-health-disparities-research/cancer-health-disparities-acs-research-highlights.html 

3-5.  National LGBT Cancer Network Cancer and the LGBT Community. (n.d.). Cancer-Network.org. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://cancer-network.org/cancer-information/cancer-and-the-lgbt-community/