LGBTQ community face barriers to care

Jun 14, 2022 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara

LGBTQ people can face specific health concerns related to their gender incongruence, sexual orientation, practices and social stigma.

People in the LGBTQ community often experience barriers to accessing health care and preventive services, which can result in disparities in both cancer risk and treatment.

"Many of those disparities are rooted in stigma and discrimination that have really historically been an issue for this population," says Dr. Jewel Kling, chair of the Women's Health Center at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

Dr. Kling encourages people who identify as LGBTQ to find a health care professional they trust, as open and honest communication is important.

"Once they find a provider they trust, then hopefully they feel that they can disclose everything about themselves, including their health behaviors, their challenges, the things that are impacting their social determinants of health," says Dr. Kling.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Kling discusses cancer screening, prevention and treatment for people who identify as LGBTQ, and the importance of finding a trusted health care team.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

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