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Access to Care and Quality of Life Among Sexual Minority Cancer Survivors

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Key Points

  • Sexual minority women had more care access deficits vs heterosexual women, but sexual minority men and heterosexual men reported similar care access.
  • Sexual minority women with care access deficits were more likely to have poor physical quality of life vs heterosexual women and were also more likely to experience poor mental quality of life and difficulties concentrating.
  • Sexual minority status in men increased the odds of poor mental quality of life and sexual minority men with care access deficits were more likely to have difficulties concentrating than heterosexual men.

In a study published by Boehmer et al in Cancer, researchers found access to care among sexual minority cancer survivors was lacking. Moreover, sexual minority women with poor access to care, in particular, had a worse quality of life.

Methods

Researchers performed a secondary analysis of 4 years of data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Among 70,524 adult men and women with a self-reported history of cancer, 1,931 identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or other nonheterosexual orientation (sexual minority).

Analysis Findings

Sexual minority women had more care access deficits vs heterosexual women (42.7% vs 28.0%; P < .0001), but sexual minority men and heterosexual men reported similar care access.

Sexual minority women with care access deficits were more likely to have poor physical quality of life vs heterosexual women (odds ratio [OR] = 2.0 vs 1.3) and were also more likely to experience poor mental quality of life (OR = 1.8 vs 1.5) and difficulties concentrating (OR = 2.0 vs 1.7). Sexual minority status in men increased the odds of poor mental quality of life (OR = 1.49), and sexual minority men with care access deficits were more likely to have difficulties concentrating than heterosexual men (OR = 4.3 vs 1.5).

The authors concluded, “Access to care among sexual minority cancer survivors needs improvement. Sexual minority women should be a focus of future research because their poor access to care more strongly relates to worse quality of life.”

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit onlinelibrary.wiley.com.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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