LGBTQ: The Communities Within a Community

David Rice

LGBTQ, cancer, identity, stigma, vulnerable populations, health disparity
CJON 2019, 23(6), 668-671. DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.668-671

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people are diverse, representing a small percentage of the American population. The identities of LGBTQ people are complex, are multilayered, and have a substantial impact on health and well-being. Oncology nurses and allied health professionals are uniquely positioned to appreciate the individuality of each patient, as well as address population-based considerations. This affords the provision of compassionate, culturally, and clinically competent care to this vulnerable population. Oncology care providers can begin to address the health inequities experienced by the LGBTQ community, restore trust in the patient–provider relationship, and improve care quality.


  • LGBTQ people have endured stigma and discrimination that affect access to and experiences with the healthcare system.
  • Multiple personal and demographic identities intersect to influence a patient’s experience with healthcare systems and providers.
  • This health disparity population often suffers inadequate care and negative consequences throughout the care continuum; oncology nurses and other providers must educate themselves in the care of this vulnerable population.
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