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Monday, 17 June 2013

"We promised them we would tell the world."

Last year, the National LGBT Cancer Network surveyed LGBT cancer survivors to learn more about their experiences in the health care system. More than 300 individuals from across the country participated in the survey and shared their stories.

After connecting with LGBT cancer survivors and conducting their research, the National LGBT Cancer Network made recommendations that fall beneath these six themes:

  1. Stigma plays a prominent role in LGBT healthcare. (pg. 8)
  2. The local healthcare environment determines one's experience and is highly variable. (pg. 10
  3. Disclosure [to healthcare providers] is often related to perceived safety. (pg. 13)
  4. Respecting LGBT patients means respecting their support teams. (pg. 17)
  5. The pervasive expectation of gender conformity can be alienating. (pg. 21)
  6. LGBT survivors need more culturally appropriate support and information. (pg. 24)
In the report's conclusion, they write:

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, but the healthcare system often
does, as evidenced by the many experiences reported here
by survey respondents. These experiences, while taking place
at one of the margins of the healthcare system, offer a rare
glimpse into the opportunities for change in the entire system.
A well-intentioned one-size-fits-all approach too often gives
a message of unwelcome to LGBT patients, leading those
who can avoid the system to do so, and suggesting to others
that they need to remain silent about their lives, their support
systems and their needs.
For more information and to read the recommendations, read the full report here.


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