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ESMO E-Learning: Oncological Considerations for the LGBTQ Patient

New E-Learning module by Dr Alison Berner and Dr Daniel Saunders is now available. Watch the presentation and take the CME test today!

ESMO members

Take the CME test and receive

1 ESMO - MORA point

46 slides / 61 minutes

Learning objectives

  1. To determine the areas where being LGBTQ may affect cancer care
  2. To elaborate strategies for reducing cancer health disparities in the LGBTQ population  
  3. To elaborate cancer risk factors and emphasize specific considerations in terms of cancer screening, treatment and possible side effects in LGBTQ populations.


The authors start this module by stating a number of areas where being LGBTQ may affect cancer care. They underline that sexual orientation and trans status monitoring are poor in health data, so good quality data
on cancer incidence and outcomes are still not available. LGBTQ population is usually an example to illustrate different biases in healthcare and at societal level, and in terms of cancer care, an area where workforce needs education.    

In the module, the authors provide LGBTQ definitions and emphasize that it is important to distinguish between sexual orientation (and therefore sexual minority populations) and gender identity and trans status (and gender minority or gender diverse populations). To understand the area and problems further, the authors additionally provide useful definitions in terms of gender identity.

The authors elaborate initiatives that aim to address the needs in terms of patient education and support, oncology workforce development and diversity, quality improvement strategies, policy solutions, and cancer research strategies.

The module presents cancer risk factors, cancer incidence and mortality in the LGBTQ population, explains barriers in terms of cancer screening, provides patient experiences, elaborates inequalities faced by LGBTQ community affected by cancer, as well as a range of specific problems in terms of fertility and contraception, and sexual side effects of anticancer treatment. The authors dedicate a chapter to a range of problems where cancer care intersects with gender transition.

The authors also elaborate on a range of considerations in terms of different cancer types and advocate to find out what is available to empower the patients. They also discuss current knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of oncologists, as well underlining their educational needs about LGBTQ patients with cancer. Thus, this E-Learning module represents a society commitment to increase competency of the oncology workforce when providing cancer care to the LGBTQ population.

Last update: 24 Nov 2021

Dr Berner has reported financial interests: Pfizer Oncology, Invited Speaker, Personal, Speak at non-promotional event in cancer genomics.

Dr Daniel Saunders has reported financial Interests: The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Full or part-time Employment, Personal, Consultant in clinical Oncology.

Non-Financial Interests: Childrens' Cancer and Leukaemia Group UK, Advisory Role, Member of Executive Committee.

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