We are very excited to tell you about a project we have been spending time getting together. This September in Las Vegas, the National LGBT Cancer Network is bringing together a small team of experts in LGBT people’s experiences in cancer care from across the country. This is the first of two meetings, with work done remotely in between, which will work towards producing a manual for Best and Promising Practices in Cancer in the LGBT Community.
Our intention is to really consider both the cancer care continuum, as well as a variety of issues that cut across the continuum, while honoring identity specific and intersectional issues. What are the best practices in delivering cancer services and educational messages to the LGBT community? No one really knows yet, as nothing is currently written down anywhere, let alone in the same place. Cancer is commonly understood as being a continuum, from prevention to screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and palliative care. Most researchers, policy people and clinicians tend to be experts in only one of those areas. We need to bring them all together.
LGBT HealthLink: The Network for Health Equity previously developed MPOWERED: Best and Promising Practices for LGBT Tobacco Prevention and Control, which was released in summer of 2012. We are piggybacking on their processes and experiences in developing MPOWERED as a template for developing our own Best and Promising Practices in Cancer in the LGBT Community. MPOWERED went on to be presented at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health in 2012, and LGBT HealthLink did a cross agency training on MPOWERED across all CDC departments. Not only do we intend to achieve similar goals with our Best and Promising Practices in Cancer in the LGBT Community, but we also hope to bring it to state health departments and cancer screening and treatment centers, and show how they can improve their services and outreach, thereby improving health outcomes and cancer survival rates of LGBT people post-treatment.