NEW ORLEANS — An interactive online LGBT cultural competency training program for oncologists may be improve LGBT-related knowledge and clinical practices. This is the preliminary result of a pilot study of oncologists in Florida, supported by a grant from the Florida Academic Cancer Center Alliance, which was presented at the 11th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held Nov. 2-5 in New Orleans.
The training program, OncoZine reports, was developed via an interdisciplinary collaboration between investigators at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami; the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa; and the University of Florida Cancer Center in Gainesville.
Because a cancer diagnosis may leave an LGBT patient with no choice but to face a system that, historically, has not been very kind to their community, the expectation is that a broader online training may help change attitudes and medical practice.
Such training may facilitate the disclosure of sexual or gender identity which may help LGBT patients with cancer overcome assumptions made by their care team about their identity.
“LGBT people experience substantial health disparities in various cancer survivorship and quality of life outcomes, including reporting more distress, more relationship difficulties, and less satisfaction with their cancer treatment and care than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts,” said Julia Seay, Ph.D, research assistant professor at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.