The National LGBT Cancer Network recently announced a major expansion of its directory of LGBT-friendly cancer screening facilities, including offering a starred designation for facilities that have trained all staff on transgender issues and reached out to their local transgender community.
“LGBT people are at increased risk of cancer, not due to any physiological differences, but behaviors, many of which result from the stress of living as sexual and gender minorities in this country,” Liz Margolies, Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network, explained. She noted, for instance, that “Gay men have very high rates of HPV, the virus that can lead to anal cancer. In fact, anal cancer rates in this population are 40 times higher than in the general population. A simple screening procedure, an anal pap smear, can test for precancerous changes, but too few men are aware of the need for or existence of the test, or out to their provider who could then recommend it.”
In addition to their searchable directory, the National LGBT Cancer Network also offers an automated Electronic Prompt that can help you keep track of when you are due for another screening, and a risk assessment tool to help you pinpoint where you may be at increased risk of various types of cancer. The directory, electronic prompt, and risk assessment tool are all available through the Natinoal LGBT Cancer Network’s homepage, at http://www.cancer-network.org/ An article on the expansion of the directory is available at http://miamiherald.typepad.com/gaysouthflorida/2012/04/national-lgbt-cancer-network-adds-300-facilities-and-transgender-friendly-designation.html