Cancer Council NSW delivers first of its kind LGBTQI+ cancer resource released in Australia
By Cancer Council NSW
We have delivered a landmark publication for people affected by cancer in Australia’s LGBTQI+ communities
This week, we released LGBTQI+ People and Cancer: A guide for people with cancer, their families and friends, a landmark publication and the first of its kind in Australia.
This 80-page booklet was created as part of Western Sydney University’s Out with Cancer research project in collaboration with Professor Jane Ussher, to provide a guide to cancer and its treatment specifically for LGBTQI+ people – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other diverse sexualities and genders, as well as people with intersex variations.
Out with Cancer Study Findings: LGBTQI+ communities are having higher distress and poorer cancer outcomes
The Out with Cancer research project shows that LGBTQI+ people experience higher levels of distress during cancer treatment and have poorer cancer outcomes. “Prof Jane Ussher along with her team, found that rates of distress were 3-6 times higher in LGBTQI+ communities than the general cancer population.
In particular, anxiety about the disclosure of LGBTQI status was high, as it was associated with fear of hostility and discrimination. The study also found that distress was higher in adolescent and young adults, trans and non-binary people, those with intersex variations, and people living in rural and regional areas.
“You can’t understate the power of displaying your organisation or practice’s support of diversity with posters, flags and availability of specific LGBTQI+ resources,” says Prof Ussher.
How we can ensure there are equal health outcomes for all cancer patients
“Many of us have experienced discrimination and rejection in our lives before cancer. The last thing we want to deal with when facing a potentially life-threatening diagnosis is an ill-informed response from the health professionals we are relying on for treatment and care.
“As a lesbian woman attending appointments and treatment with my long-term partner Melissa, it would be marvellous to see LGBTQI+ on a Cancer Council booklet offering information and support directly relevant to our lives”, says renowned broadcaster and LGBTQI+ rights advocate Julie McCrossin, who in 2013 was diagnosed with stage four oropharyngeal cancer caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Julie understands how important this resource will be for people affected by cancer in the LGBTQI+ communities and their families, saying “a cancer centre displaying this booklet sends an instantly recognisable message that the team is truly welcoming LGBTQI+ patients. This will bring relief and a sense of support at a time when you really need it.”
When Julie was a patient herself, she associated our Cancer Council booklets with useful information and a feeling of hope and recovery, emphasising the value this resource will have for LGBTQI+ communities.
LGBTQI+ People and Cancer: A guide for people with cancer, their families and friends will be launched during Sydney World Pride 2023 at the Cancer Council stand at Mardi Gras Fair Day in Sydney this Sunday. The information booklet will be distributed in hospitals and treatment centres throughout Australia, and it’s available online at cancercouncil.com.au/lgbtqi or by calling Cancer Council 13 11 20 for a free copy.