Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) women and men have a higher risk of lung cancer, according to a new study of data from UK Biobank. The new analysis showed that women who have sex with women, and men who have sex with men are about twice as likely as people in the wider population to be diagnosed with lung cancer. Sexual orientation alone is not inherently a risk factor for cancer but LGB people are more likely to smoke, which causes the higher risk of lung cancer. This analysis was led by Dr Katie Saunders at the Primary Care Unit.
The higher incidence of smoking is known to arise because of a complex interplay of minority stress and experiences of stigma and discrimination. In addition, historically, tobacco companies have specifically targeted sales efforts at LGBT+ communities.
The analysis shows that supporting smoking cessation is particularly important and could help address some of the inequalities in health outcomes experienced by sexual minority adults. It also highlights the importance of work to improve holistic and inclusive cancer care.
Sarah Underwood, Georgios Lyratzopoulos, Catherine L Saunders: Breast, Prostate, Colorectal, and Lung Cancer Incidence and Risk Factors in Women who have Sex with Women and Men who have Sex with Men: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analysis using UK Biobank.
Cancers 2023, 15(7), 2031; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15072031
Queries: Lucy Lloyd, Communications, Primary Care Unit
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