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LGBTQI+ people and cancer


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Talking to healthcare providers

LGBTQI+ people diagnosed with cancer can have unique issues and concerns. Asking your health professionals questions can help you find the right support - you may want to include some of the questions below in your own list.

Questions to ask your doctor

Get to know your treatment team

  • Do you have an LGBTQI+ inclusive policy for patients and staff?
  • Have staff had training in meeting the needs of LGBTQI+ people?
  • Do you have experience dealing with LGBTQI+ people with cancer?
  • How will you keep my personal information confidential?
  • Can you amend my records with my gender, pronouns and preferred name?
  • Who can I talk to if I am not satisfied with my care?
  • I’m thinking of getting a second opinion. Can you recommend anyone?

Learn more about treatment side effects

  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? How can these be managed?
  • How will the treatment affect how I look and how my body works?
  • Will the treatment affect my sex life? Can I get support from someone who understands LGBTQI+ sex issues?
  • Will the cancer and treatment affect my fertility? What tests can I have to see if my fertility has been affected?

Find out your options for support

  • How can I connect with other LGBTQI+ people affected by cancer?
  • What financial and practical assistance is available?
  • Where can I get help with advance care planning?

Access help for your family and friends

  • Will you include my partner/s and family, chosen and biological, in my care?
  • Can you help me talk to my family about what is happening?
  • Where can my partner/s, children and friends get help and advice?

Prepare for life after treatment

  • Who will I see for follow-up appointments?
  • How often will I need check-ups after treatment?


LGBTQI+ People and Cancer

Download our LGBTQI+ People and Cancer booklet to learn more.

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Expert content reviewers:

The chief investigators on the project were Prof Jane Ussher, Prof Janette Perz, Prof Martha Hickey, Prof Suzanne Chambers, Prof Gary Dowsett, Prof Ian Davis, Prof Katherine Boydell, Prof Kerry Robinson and Dr Chloe Parton. Partner investigators were Dr Fiona McDonald and A/Prof Antoinette Anazodo. Research Associates were Dr Rosalie Power, Dr Kimberley Allison and Dr Alexandra J. Hawkey.

Page last updated:

The information on this webpage was adapted from LGBTQI+ People and Cancer (2023 edition). This webpage was last updated in December 2023. 

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