Sexual Orientation and Testing for Prostate and Colorectal Cancers Among Men in California

By on Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Out With Cancer, our country’s first National LGBT Cancer Project, says further research must be conducted to examine gender and sexual identity differences in cancer testing. Researchers analyzed data on 19,410 men who participated in a statewide health survey (Heslin et al., Medical Care, December 2008). Researchers looked at the use of prostate-specific antigen testing among gay/bisexual and heterosexual men and found no significant differences. However, the percentage of black gay/bisexual men who had undergone the test was 15% to 28% lower than gay/bisexual whites and 12% to 14% lower than heterosexual black men. The finding is significant because black men are more likely to be diagnosed with a life threatening prostate cancer than any other racial or ethnic group (University of California-Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research newsletter, December 2008).  This study suggests that further research be conducted to examine racial and ethnic differences in cancer testing (Medical Care, December 2008).

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