A 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.
The study involved more than 120,000 adults in California, 51,000 of whom were men. The researchers found that 3,700 men were diagnosed with cancer with the cancer rate among homosexuals being 8 percent compared to 5 percent among heterosexuals. The researchers did not find any such disparity among heterosexual, bisexual or lesbian women.
AdvertisementThe study was led by Ulrike Boehmer from the Boston University School of Public Health who said that one of the explanations could be the higher instance of HIV virus among gay men.
However Liz Margolies, executive director of The National LGBT Cancer Network, said that the problem could be the unwillingness of gay men to visit hospitals for routine cancer screening or the widespread abuse of smoking and alcohol.
Speaking to Reuters, both Boehmer and Margolies said that specialist programs are needed to tackle the high rate of cancer among gay men. "Because more gay men report as cancer survivors, we need foremost programs for gay men that focus on primary cancer prevention and early cancer detection", Boehmer said.