Lesbians May Be at Greater Risk for Some Cancers
Lesbian and bisexual women may be
at higher risks for some cancers because of a number of risk
factors and because they may miss out on cancer screenings in
a system geared towards heterosexual women, study results suggest.
According to the report in the April issue of the American Journal of
Public Health, journal of the American Public Health Association,
lesbians and bisexual women were less likely to
have health insurance and to have had a pelvic exam or mammogram--important
cancer screening exams--within the past year, compared with women
in general. Lesbian and bisexual women also have higher rates
of smoking, alcohol use and obesity, which may put them at increased
risk for certain cancers and chronic diseases, the report indicates.
``We show that as a group, lesbians tend to have a cluster of risk
factors for negative health outcomes,'' Dr. Susan D. Cochran,
the study's lead author, told Reuters Health. ``Healthcare for
women is organized around contraceptive needs, which bring women
periodically into the health system. But lesbians typically don't
have contraceptive needs,'' said Cochran, from the University
of California, Los Angeles.
The study of more than 11,800 lesbian
and bisexual women in the US found that the rate of obesity was
significantly higher than would be expected, based on a national
sample of women. About 28% of the lesbians and bisexual women
Thanks to Reuters Health
J Archives of Ped & Adoles Med, 4/04
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