LAS VEGAS — A June report found that LGBT cancer survivors reported struggles with stigma, fear and support in their health care, according to the National LGBT Cancer Network, which produced the report with help from the Network for LGBT Health Equity and Human Rights Campaign’s Health & Aging Program.
The report found that the history and/or fear of discrimination stopped some from coming out to their doctors during treatment and made them more cautious. The majority of those who had come out to their medical team, 58 percent, did so to correct assumptions, with no form or outlet to express their orientation otherwise. Most of those who did come out did not tell the entire medical staff, only the primary care physician and/or surgeon and oncologist, the report said.
Their locations often affected how welcome they felt, partly due to legal reasons and how conservative or liberal the region was, the report noted. Some were uncomfortable or afraid in religious institutions, afraid their care would be inadequate if their doctors found out about their orientation, the National LGBT Cancer Network researchers wrote in the report.
Some said they had experienced discrimination in treatment.