Uncovering LGBTQ Breast Cancer Realities

Individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and/or Queer have stories of navigating breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment that aren’t represented in the heteronormative pink ribbon narrative. In this episode, host BCAction Program Manager Jayla Burton speaks with Laurie Merges, who tells the story of navigating her breast cancer diagnosis. Additionally, Jayla speaks with Scout, Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network, about the realities of the healthcare system for people with queer and trans identities. Scout also provides a sneak peek of the findings from their organization’s OUT survey. Together, the dialogue between host Jayla, Laurie, and Scout explores breast cancer risk factors specific to the LGBTQ community, the heteronormative biases in guidance about sex and intimacy during breast cancer treatment, and the layers of missing data and research needed to improve health outcomes. It is clear from this conversation that to honor and center the LGBTQ breast cancer experience, practitioners and the breast cancer movement must address breast cancer by treating not just a body part, but the person as a whole.

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