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Sexual orientation may influence decision to pursue screening for ‘gender-specific’ cancers

Men who identified as homosexual or bisexual were found to undergo screening for prostate cancer less often than men who identified as heterosexual (34.7% vs 41.3%). Similarly, homosexual or bisexual women sought screening for breast cancer (54.5% vs 80.7%) or cervical cancer (88.3% vs 95.4%) less often than heterosexual women.

Your SOGIESC affects your health-seeking behaviors.

This is according to a study that specifically found that sexual orientation might influence a person’s decision to pursue screening for gender-specific malignancies such as prostate, breast, and cervical cancer.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.com

The study – “The association between sexual orientation and screening of prevalent gender-specific cancers” by Herriges MJ, Pinkhasov R, Lehavot K, et al – was reported at the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

For this study, 10,000 adult men and women were included, identified from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) database in a two-year span (2017-2019). Among the men identified, 4,441 were heterosexual and 225 were homosexual or bisexual. Of the women, 6,333 were heterosexual and 213 were homosexual or bisexual.

Men who identified as homosexual or bisexual were found to undergo screening for prostate cancer less often than men who identified as heterosexual (34.7% vs 41.3%). Similarly, homosexual or bisexual women sought screening for breast cancer (54.5% vs 80.7%) or cervical cancer (88.3% vs 95.4%) less often than heterosexual women.

“Homosexuals/bisexuals… may be less likely to undergo screening of gender-specific prevalent malignancies, including prostate cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer,” the researchers stated. As such, “the implementation of cancer screening among sexual minorities should be improved.”

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