LGBTQ+ individuals may have a higher risk of certain cancers due to concerns about discrimination

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A recent report has pointed out that LGBTQ+ individuals are at an increased risk of cancer due to factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity, which are all linked to cancer. In addition, LGBTQ+ individuals may avoid seeking medical help out of fear of discrimination, leading to potential delays in cancer diagnosis.

Dr. William Dahut, the chief scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, highlighted concerns about healthcare hesitancy within the LGBTQ+ community, emphasizing the impact of biases and lack of familiarity among physicians on health outcomes.

The American Cancer Society released a comprehensive analysis providing national data on cancer risk factors, diagnoses, and screening among LGBTQ+ individuals for the first time. The report indicated that LGBTQ+ individuals have similar rates of preventative cancer screening and vaccination as heterosexual peers, with some exceptions for certain groups.

Despite some positive findings, over 1 million LGBTQ+ individuals are estimated to be living with cancer, with limited research on this population so far. The report gathered data from national surveys to estimate cancer risk factors and incidence among LGBTQ+ individuals.

The report also highlighted policies in nine states where medical professionals can legally refuse care to LGBTQ+ patients, affecting a significant portion of the LGBTQ+ community. Researchers recommended that healthcare providers receive training on providing inclusive care to LGBTQ+ individuals.

Sarah Danziger, M.D. is an Internal Medicine Resident at Dartmouth and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

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