The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has adopted the term “sexual and gender minorities” (SGM) to be inclusive of the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other populations (LGBTQIA+) that do not identify as heterosexual and cisgender. SGM individuals were designated a health disparity population by the National Institutes of Minority Health and Health Disparities in 2016. The terms used to describe this population (e.g. LGBTQ+, LGBTQI+, LGBTQIA2S+) may vary depending on the resources being referenced. The plus or “+” makes space for expansive experiences of sexual orientation and gender not captured in the terms included in each acronym.*

7.2% of the U.S. population self-identifies as a sexual or gender minority status (2023, Gallup). With regard to cancer, SGM people experience unique challenges at each stage of the cancer continuum, may face greater risk of developing cancer, and may be diagnosed with cancer at a younger age and a later stage, than their heterosexual/cisgender counterparts (Kamen et al, 2022, JCO Oncology Practice).

ASCO, our members, allies, and other stakeholders are committed to advancing health equity for LGBTQ people with cancer (Maingi et al, 2022, ASCO Connection). ASCO’s work in this area has been guided by the recommendations published in the ASCO Position Statement: Strategies for Reducing Cancer Health Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minority Populations (Griggs et al, 2017, JCO). ASCO has also compiled resources for clinicians and researchers to help increase awareness of the unique challenges confronted by SGM populations in the context of cancer (ASCO Education Cultural Literacy Collection).

*We acknowledge that not everyone will identify with these terms, but our intention is to be inclusive.



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