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SUMMIT: National Expert to Share Strategies for Promoting LGBTQI+ Inclusivity in Cancer Control

06 June, 2024

More than 500 anti-queer bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, according to a recent editorial by LGBTQI+ Cancer Network Executive Director Scout, PhD.

“Even as an expert in trans health, I admit, the magnitude of this impact was bigger than I had guessed,” they said.

Scout is set to speak at this year’s Nevada Cancer Control Summit on Aug. 23 in a plenary session entitled “Improving Care for LGBTQI+ Patients.”

Their comments were part of an article published this month in The Cancer Letter which describes the impact of not actively promoting welcoming spaces and inclusivity on the lives of LGBTQI+ people. Scout notes that although healthcare providers and facilities may provide welcoming care, many provide no outward indication that’s the case.

“Silence now is a very loud statement,” Scout said, noting that in these times of anti-queer efforts it’s important to know that one will receive safe and respectful treatment.

These observations are reflected in recent research by Shail Maingi, MD, FASCO,member of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute(DFCI)’s Cancer Care Equity Program and physician at DFCI’s South Shore regional campus. She and her colleagues recently presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting on disparities in the care of LGBTQI+ individuals with cancer, which are more pervasive that previously thought.

Among other findings, her research found the vast majority of physicians (86%) said they felt comfortable treating LGBTQ+ patients, but only one-quarter (24%) said they felt comfortable disclosing their LGBTQ+ identity with their oncology team. Nearly one-third of physicians also said they weren’t sure how to discuss LGBTQ+ status with a patient or how to factor that status into treatment.

Although Nevada has received high marks for its LGBTQ+ policies, there’s still work to be done, such as expanding the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data across all healthcare entities.

In their plenary Summit session, Scout will describe the cancer and health disparities experienced by LGBTQI+ communities and point out health system changes that can be made to improve health outcomes for LGBTQI+ patients. Session attendees will leave knowing strategies for promoting LGBTQI+ inclusivity in their own hospitals and cancer centers.

Registration for the 2024 Nevada Cancer Control Summit is just $75 through July 26, or $20 for students. After July 26, prices increase to $95 (except for students).

See the full agenda and register here.

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