Out with Cancer


About Out with Cancer

‘Out with Cancer’, funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage grant, is a three-year research project focused on understanding the cancer experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) communities and their caregivers.

LGBTIQ+ communities represent an “ignored epidemic” and a “growing and medically underserved population” in cancer care.

Previous research suggests LGBTIQ+ communities experience a disproportionate cancer burden, and face unique psychosocial challenges, such as higher rates of cancer related distress and sexual concerns, lower levels of family support, difficulties in accessing general health care or cancer services, gaps in patient-provider communication and lower satisfaction with cancer care.

“Research is needed to understand these disparities and the complexity of LGBTIQ+ experience of survivorship across tumour streams, from diagnosis through to palliative care.”

Recently, the American Society of Clinical Oncology recognised this health disparity and concluded there is “insufficient knowledge about the health care needs, outcomes, lived experiences and effective interventions to improve outcomes” for LGBTIQ+ populations. As a result, health care providers and policy makers are ill-equipped to provide culturally-competent advice or assistance to LGBTIQ+ cancer survivors and their families.

Our aims

‘Out with Cancer’ is committed to achieving translatable outcomes that have a meaningful impact in the lives of LGBTIQ+ people with cancer, and their caregivers.  Our aims are to:

  1. Understand the unique cancer experiences of LGBTIQ+ people and their caregivers
  2. Ascertain barriers and facilitators to the delivery of culturally competent cancer communication and care to LGBTIQ+ patients.
  3. Synthesise and implement findings into tailored support materials for LGBTIQ+ people with cancer and caregivers, and Australian LGBTIQ+ cancer best practice and policy recommendations.

Research Design

Using a mixed-methods design involving surveys, interviews and visual-methods research, ‘Out with Cancer’ will pioneer knowledge and provide innovative insight about the experiences of LGBTIQ+ people with cancer and their caregivers.