Providing inclusive care for LGBTQ2SPIA+ cancer patients

February 02, 2021

Oxford, February 2, 2021 - In an upcoming issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, published by Elsevier, undergraduate researchers from the University of Alberta's Radiation Therapy Program in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry describe how LGBTQ2SPIA+ patients face unique cancer risks, including fear of discrimination, higher incidence of certain cancer sites, and lower screening rates, resulting in more cancers detected at later stages.

"I understand that there are different gender pronouns, I do not understand them all."

To discover the knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors of the healthcare professionals treating these patients, the authors surveyed Radiation Therapists (RTs)--key members of the cancer treatment team who are responsible for planning and delivering radiation therapy. In addition to the highly technical aspects of the job, RTs explain procedures, answer questions, comfort patients, and provide emotional support during the treatment journey, making these professionals a natural point of education and support for LGBTQ2SPIA+ patients.

Results suggest there are knowledge gaps and inconsistencies when caring for this patient population. Over 70 percent of respondents were unfamiliar with all terms associated with LGBTQ2SPIA+, and the same percentage were unsure if specific resources were available for the LGBTQ2SPIA+ population at their cancer center. This uncertainty affects the care given to these patients, either limiting RT's interactions with this community or being unable to provide specific side effect management education, a crucial part of the RT role.

Despite clear evidence of the RT community desiring LGBTQ2SPIA+-specific care, a significant portion of respondents stated that all patients should be treated equally, and therefore no practice adaptation is required. Most respondents reported being comfortable caring for the LGBTQ2SPIA+ community, despite the majority also asserting that they have had inadequate education in this area.

However, the survey found an overall willingness to improve practice behaviors, with 86.9 percent of total respondents interested in receiving more education on this topic. As one respondent stated:

"I can't really think of 'how' I am actively creating a safe environment for disclosing their sexual orientation, nor do I know how to properly create that environment....I can definitely say that I am non-judgmental of their life choices if it comes up in conversation, etc., but I really don't know what more I should be doing, admittedly. Further training or information on how to better create a safe environment for patients would be beneficial."

The authors conclude that future research should examine the experiences of LGBTQ2SPIA+ patients from their perspective. To provide truly patient-centered care, LGBTQ2SPIA+-targeted resources for both patients and radiation therapists need to be considered a priority.


Related Medical Imaging Articles from Brightsurf:

Improved medical imaging improves cancer staging
Prof. TIAN Chao's group improved the imaging quality and 3D construction of the photoacoustic imaging, and applied them to in vivo sentinel lymph node imaging.

AI techniques in medical imaging may lead to incorrect diagnoses
Machine learning and AI are highly unstable in medical image reconstruction, and may lead to false positives and false negatives, a new study suggests.

Tiny devices promise new horizon for security screening and medical imaging
Miniature devices that could be developed into safe, high-resolution imaging technology, with uses such as helping doctors identify potentially deadly cancers and treat them early, have been created in research involving the University of Strathclyde.

Advanced medical imaging combined with genomic analysis could help treat cancer patients
Melding the genetic and cellular analysis of tumors with how they appear in medical images could give physicians new insights into how to best treat patients, especially those with brain cancer, according to a new study led by TGen.

Low doses of radiation used in medical imaging lead to mutations in cell cultures
Common medical imaging procedures use low doses of radiation that are believed to be safe.

Use of medical imaging
This observational study looked at patterns of use for computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound and nuclear medicine imaging in the United States and in Ontario, Canada, from 2000 to 2016.

Medical imaging rates continue to rise despite push to reduce their use
The rates of use of CT, MRI and other scans have continued to increase in both the US and Ontario, Canada, according to a new study of more than 135 million imaging exams conducted by researchers at UC Davis, UC San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente.

Two-in-one contrast agent for medical imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) visualizes internal body structures, often with the help of contrast agents to enhance sensitivity.

Medical imaging rates during pregnancy
Researchers looked at rates of medical imaging (CT, MRI, conventional x-rays, angiography, fluoroscopy and nuclear medicine) during pregnancy in this observational study that included nearly 3.5 million pregnant women in the United States and Canada from 1996 to 2016.

Scientists discover new method for developing tracers used for medical imaging
University of North Carolina researchers discovered a method for creating radioactive tracers to better track pharmaceuticals in the body as well as image diseases, such as cancer, and other medical conditions.

Read More: Medical Imaging News and Medical Imaging Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to