Founded in 2005, The National LGBT Cancer Project and Out With Cancer, constitute the first national LGBT cancer survivor support and advocacy nonprofit organization in the United States.
Known collectively as the The National LGBT Cancer Project, we provide cancer-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people and other sexuality and gender diverse people and communities.
The National LGBT Cancer Project grew out of the work of an ally and oncology social worker, Darryl Mitteldorf. In 1997, Mr. Mitteldorf developed and facilitated a New York City based support group for Gay men presenting with prostate cancer. That one group grew into an international network of cancer survivor support groups for Gay, Bisexual, MtF and FtM men. The network was incorporated as the nonprofit organization, Malecare.
Around the early 2000’s, the social workers and psychologists associated with Malecare began regular discussions about the intersection of minority status and cancer survivorship. We noticed the stove piping of our LGBT community into separate groups and organizations for Lesbian and Gay cancer survivors. What if there was an organization that looked at the collective concerns of LGBT cancer survivorship? Hence, the National LGBT Cancer Project was started in 2005 as the very first organization focused on LGBT cancer survivorship, advocacy and research.
Out With Cancer, which is managed on it’s own website, http://outwithcancer.org , is the world’s first LGBT cancer survivor online support group.
To raise awareness and diminish the threat of cancer in the LGBT community, worldwide, through research, education, survivor support and advocacy.
The National LGBT Cancer Project is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem in the LGBT community.
- Providing support services to LGBT people with cancer and their loved ones.
- Breaking down barriers to quality health care by educating medical and psychosocial providers on the special needs of this population.
- Advocating for research on the cancer risks and treatment of LGBT people, as well as inclusion of LGBT subjects in national studies and surveys.
The common cancer needs and experiences of LGBT people suggest that one unified comprehensive program will result in fewer gaps in service and greater potential for public advocacy.
- LGBT people engage in many of the same stress-related high-risk behaviors, e.g., smoking and alcohol use associated with minority status.
- LGBT people often delay or avoid health screenings, resulting in cancers being detected at a later stage when they are more difficult to treat.
- Once diagnosed with cancer, LGBT people experience challenges comparable with being “out” to their providers and receive little information about how cancer may impact their unique sexuality and relationships.
- LGBT cancer survivors find more powerful and durable support in peer to peer settings.
- LGBT cancer survivor caregivers face unique challenges that is best understood in peer to peer settings.
1. Develop and conduct LGBT cancer support groups, caregiver groups and bereavement groups nationwide, through strategic partnerships with community health centers, hospitals and clinicians.
2. Develop and promote a comprehensive multi-lingual website,
a. Providing information and resources about cancer risks and services for survivors and caregivers,
b. Online training for oncology professionals on culturally-competent care for LGBT patients,
c. Access to current research on cancer and LGBT people.
3. Develop and present lectures and training at hospitals, social service organizations and oncology conferences.
4. Promote inclusion of LGBT people in clinical trials and research.
5. Increase awareness of LGBT risks and cancer needs through publications in professional journals and popular media.
Information provided on www.lgbtcancer.org and outwithcancer.org is meant to complement and not replace any advice or information from a health care professional.