Tobacco-related cancer in LGBT community is high

LGBT smoking
LGBT Cancer Network will study ways to combat cancer in LGBT households 

The National LGBT Cancer Network received a $2.5 million five-year award from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The award will expand resources for grantees serving LGBT people at risk for tobacco-related cancers.

“The LGBTQ communities smoke at rates significantly higher than other populations. That alone increases our cancer risks dramatically,” said Liz Margolies, the Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network.

The Cancer Network’s new award will expand their presence to Providence, RI, the base for their Principal Investigator, Dr. Scout. For more than a decade, Dr. Scout has led this CDC health priority at other agencies. He emphasizes that the next five years will bring a new vision for this work.

“We are really looking to expand the online knowledge base. And we look to expand the toolbox for LGBTQ community members at risk,” he said. “Watch our website each month we will be adding new resources, building a robust library of information and tools everyone can access.”

Many national organizations have commitments to assist the study

The CDC award leverages a network of organizational members who specialize in tobacco-related cancers and/or serving LGBT people. The Cancer Network reports early membership commitments from a wide range of LGBT serving national organizations. They include: the Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBTQ Task Force, the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, the Equality Federation, and others. Many state  health departments and national health organizations have already signed on as members. Thus far signing on are the American Cancer Society, The Truth Initiative, Association of State and Territorial Health Officers.

“The American Cancer Society has a longstanding commitment to addressing cancer in the LGBTQ communities. We are very excited about this new award. We look forward to helping further reduce the cancer impact for this population,” said Tawana Thomas-Johnson, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion at ACS.

Margolies added, “We are particularly excited to have members work with the state health departments, who collectively are the second largest health funder in the United States.”

The National LGBT Cancer Network works to improve the lives of LGBT cancer survivors and those at risk.