I’m Liz Margolies, the founder and executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network. While I have written here before as a guest blogger, this is the first time I am here as a real partner with the Network for LGBT Health Equity. We are thrilled to be joining forces to make a difference in the lives of LGBT people with cancer and those at risk. The collaboration also reinforces our belief that reducing the burden of cancer in our community cannot be separated out from all other efforts to improve our health. If we eat better, if we move our bodies more and if we stay away from tobacco, we will improve our health and lower our cancer risks.
The National LGBT Cancer Network is currently involved in several large projects. We are creating cultural competence curricula for use by LGBT organizations across New York State, and we are offering the first online breast cancer support groups for lesbian/bisexual women and transgender men (yes, please refer anyone who may be interested to us). We also maintain a directory of LGBT-welcoming cancer screening and treatment providers, as part of our Take Care of That Body campaign. We will be expanding that with the help of the Network for LGBT Health Equity.
Later this week, we will be hosting the 2014 Summit on Cancer in the LGBT Communities, a dream project that would not have been possible without the support of Scout and his Network. Modeled after the 2003 Tobacco Summit, we have invited the country’s top researchers, survivor/activists, policy makers and service providers to collaborate on developing a National LGBT Cancer Action Plan. This should make history! And then, once we were going to have everyone here in NYC, it only made sense to host a public education day for health care professionals and students, allowing others to hear these esteemed colleagues report on their work. If you’re in the neighborhood, please consider coming. You can register at mskcc.org/lgbtcancer.
Check out the National LGBT Cancer Network website HERE!