SSN Memo

Breast Health Toolkit for the LGBTQ Community

Policy field

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St. Cloud State University

Originally published as "Breast Health Toolkit for the LGBTQ Community," Susan G. Komen Puget Sound, April 2018.

Based on research conducted by Susan G. Komen Puget Sound in 2016 on the healthcare experiences of LGBTQ community in Western Washington, there is a need for cultural sensitivity training for healthcare providers.

The LGBTQ community often delays seeking preventive care. When asked for their reasons behind delaying or never seeking preventive care, 83% of transgender men, 67% of gender non-conforming people, and 17% of cisgender women cited lack of cultural sensitivity from healthcare providers.

Furthermore, the LGBTQ community in Western Washington needs more education on breast health that is inclusive of all genders. 50% of transgender women, 33% of transgender men, 22% of gender non-conforming people, and 17% of cisgender women reported a reason they delayed or did not seek preventive care was uncertainty of the recommendations for screening guidelines.

Consequently, only 60% of the LGBTQ community age 50-74 received their recommended mammogram in the past two years. This compares with 76% of the general population in the Komen Puget Sound service area. The LGBTQ population faces a myriad of health disparities, and breast health is only one facet.

This toolkit was designed in response to the indication from 98% of our research participants that healthcare providers in Western Washington need to undergo LGBTQ cultural sensitivity training. Our coalition of researchers, leaders in the LGBTQ community, and healthcare providers created this toolkit based on recommendations from research participants from the LGBTQ community