LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately burdened by cancer and face greater obstacles to care because of complex systemic issues, including homophobia, transphobia, and racism.
The American Cancer Society funds $50 million in research to better understand what cancer disparities and inequalities exist, what causes them, and how to decrease them.
Since no cancer registries or surveys consistently collect data on sexual orientation/gender identity, LGBTQ+ individuals remain hidden in the current health data. Even less is known about the health of the transgender community, who face additional stigma and discrimination.
For more information about our American Cancer Society Health Equity work, please visit our Health Equity Page.
Why Your Support Matters
Identifying and understanding issues related to cancer disparities and health equity through research. ACS is funding 61 grants reflecting $48.6 million in health disparities/health equity research.
The American Cancer Society is committed to reaching the LGBTQ+ communities. For example, we enrolled more than 12,000 individuals identified as LGBTQ+ in our Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). CPS-3 will allow us to expand our knowledge of how cancer affects the LGBTQ+ community disproportionately and will hopefully lead to increased efforts to reduce tobacco usage and teach healthy habits in the community.
LGBTQ+ community cancer impact- The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control (2014), indicates the prevalence of current cigarette smoking among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals was 23.9%, compared with 16.6% among heterosexual/straight individuals. With all of the science that points to the correlation of tobacco use and many types of cancer – not just lung cancer – LGBTQ+ individuals are significantly more susceptible to a cancer diagnosis than the average person. That’s why we must act now.
Education for the power to choose- in order to make informed decisions about preventing and treating cancer, people need access to the latest information. Over 120 million people were assisted with information on cancer.org
Services that support- provided over 135,000 rides to treatment through Road to Recovery. Cancer information specialists assisted over 500,000 people through our helpline.
Through our nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, we're fighting cancer in city hall, the statehouse, and Congress. Successfully pushed for a $1.25 billion increase in federal research funding at the NIH and a nearly $120 million increase for the NCI via a bipartisan funding bill.
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