It seems there are very few support groups out there for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people who are affected by cancer.
What many lesbian, gay and bisexual people have acknowledged, is that it is sometimes important to be able to share their experiences of cancer with other gay and bisexual people in similar situations.
Many LGB people don’t feel able to discuss the personal issues that affect their lives and give the impression to others that everything is ‘ok’.
But there is support for lesbian, gay and bisexual people affected by cancer. The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, along with representatives from MacMillan Cancer Support will be talking about services and support available at Out About Cancer on Monday February 8th (5.30pm – 8.30pm), and offering an opportunity to share your experiences and issues in a safe space.
The event is open to both men and women, as both have unique needs when it comes to cancer care.
Lesbian and bisexual women and cancer
According to Stonewall’s Prescription For Change (lesbian and bisexual women’s health check 2008), one in twelve lesbian and bisexual women aged between 50 and 79 have been diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to one in twenty women in general.
Also, a recent study has found that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – which is present in almost 100% of cervical cancer cases – can be transmitted in same sex relationships.
These findings highlight the importance of lesbian and bisexual women getting screened for cervical cancer.
Gay and bisexual men and cancer
Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. Many men (straight or gay) don’t discuss side effects, and for some they have been devastating.
While there are quite a few support groups, there doesn’t seem to be many for gay or bisexual men who have prostate cancer, counselling is available when needed, but many gay and bisexual men have said it would be really good to be able to share their experiences with other gay and bisexual men who have prostate cancer.
Samantha Days, Services Manager at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation said: “We know there are many people who are affected by cancer and would benefit from a LGB support group to compliment their other treatment and support needs.”
“We hope that this event will be the first of a regular group that will help LGB’s support each other, and provide a valuable place to talk about the issues that affect them in a safe and comfortable environment.”
Find out what support is on offer, tell us what you want, or get involved in supporting others at Out About Cancer, Monday February 8th between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, 3rd Floor, Princess House, 105-107 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD.
Free food and travel costs are available. For details and to confirm your attendance, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 235 8020.