Background: A health workforce trained to conduct Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM)-inclusive cancer research is needed to meet the needs of SGM persons seeking comprehensive cancer care, including prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship care. Research has described many SGM cancer disparities, and a growing number of studies of SGM individuals have documented increased exposure to cancer-risk factors and certain cancers, as well as poorer cancer outcomes. Yet SGM patients are extremely diverse, presenting with unique and varied care needs.Although the body of research focused on SGM groups continues to grow, gaps persist in the knowledge of specific SGM cancer risk factors and cancer treatment experiences that is critical for developing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in oncology care across the cancer care continuum – from prevention to survivorship.
Mission and Values: In order to strengthen the evidence base for high quality and culturally competent care, the mission of SGM Cancer CARE is to nurture and prepare the workforce conducting research relevant to SGM groups across the cancer continuum from prevention through survivorship.
By providing sexual and gender minority-specific methodological and culturally competent training to population and clinical science researchers interested in conducting SGM and cancer research, we hope to reduce cancer disparities for SGM individuals and communities.
We do this through:
- Training early career researchers on critical issues in SGM cancer care & research;
- Orienting workshop participants to key research methods;
- Highlighting key analytic frameworks (e.g., intersectionality, social determinants of health); and
- Facilitating access to a network of like-minded professionals for collaboration on innovative research projects.
SGM Community: SGM populations encompass several partially overlapping groups.
- Individuals whose sexual orientation—as typically conceptualized in terms of sexual attraction, behavior, and/or sexual identity—is not exclusively heterosexual. This group includes people who label themselves (or are labeled) as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, as well as people who do not adopt such labels but nevertheless experience same-sex attraction or engage in same-sex sexual behaviors.
- Individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex originally assigned to them at birth; whose gender expression varies significantly from what is traditionally associated with or typical for that group; and/or who vary from or reject traditional cultural conceptualizations of gender in terms of male-female dichotomy. This group includes people who label themselves (or are labeled) as transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, gender fluid, and/or two-spirit.
- Individuals who are born with external and/or internal genitalia that vary from typical male or female genitalia, or a chromosomal pattern that varies from XX (female) or XY (male). This group includes people who label themselves (or are labeled) as intersex and/or those who have been diagnosed with Disorders of Sexual Development [DSD].
Read our publication, “Addressing Cancer Disparities in SGM Populations: Recommendations for a National Action Plan to Increase SGM Health Equity Through Researcher and Provider Training and Education.“
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