Increased data collection and research are needed to document and understand elevated cancer risk, cancer incidence and prevalence, and cancer screening disparities in LGBT communities, according to the conclusions and recommendations of the 2014 National Summit on Cancer in the LGBT Communities. The white paper produced from the Summit, entitled "The National LGBT Cancer Action Plan," is published in LGBT Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The white paper is part of a new Special Issue on LGBT Populations and Cancer and is available open access on the LGBT Health website.
Jack Burkhalter, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, and a team of authors with diverse experience and knowledge about cancer and LGBT communities, describe the main themes of the Summit. These themes relate to the lack of cancer incidence and mortality data among LGBT persons, which impedes the development of needed research, policy, and educational initiatives. Among the recommendations highlighted in the Cancer Action Plan are the need to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) information in diverse healthcare settings, to support research on cancer prevention and treatment strategies targeted to LGBT communities, and to educate healthcare providers about caring for LGBT patients with cancer, including the unique conditions that may co-occur in each population.
"This is clearly a landmark paper on the health of sexual and gender minority populations, and its recommendations will influence clinical care and research as well as provider education for years to come," says LGBT Health Editor-in-Chief William Byne, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.