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Monday, May 9, 2011

Are gay men more at risk for cancer?

Gay men are nearly twice as likely to report being diagnosed with cancer when compared to heterosexual men, according to a new study released Monday (09-May-2011).
Does being homosexual influence one's risk of developing cancer? Why do bisexual and lesbian women who survive cancer appear to be less healthy than heterosexual female cancer survivors?

There are very few studies that link sexual orientation with disease, but this US study published in the journal Cancer has suggested that the cancer rate among gay men is higher than among heterosexuals while lesbian and bisexual women also have poorer health.

As background information, the researchers explained that cancer surveillance studies have never asked patients about their sexual orientation. So, there is very little data about on how many gay, lesbian or bisexual cancer survivors there are, and how they are.

The authors stressed that we still do not know why there is a higher rate of cancer among gay men. There are still many unanswered questions regarding the health status of lesbian and bisexual females. Older and sicker people were not included in the study.

The authors added that this study included only people in California, and all the cases of cancer diagnosis were self-reported ones.

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