Two guest speakers met with Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Screening Coordinators on 8th April to discuss the importance of consideration for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and plus (LGBTQI+) community within cancer screening.
The aim of the session was to enhance learning on how to support the LGBTQI+ community during their cancer screening process and find out what the NHS can do to help break down the barriers that the community are facing.
The two speakers who presented during the session were Stewart O’Callaghan, CEO and founder of Live Through This and Eva Echo, activist, writer and public speaker.
The presentations included:
- The Live Through This campaign and the findings of recent focus groups
- Lack of awareness within the LGBTQI+ community of cancer risks
- Lack of preventative care for the LGBTQI+ community
- How the current systems eligibility for screening effects how the LGBTQI+ community gets invited to screening
- Importance of Trans inclusive guidance on self-checking
- The power of pronouns in a patient’s pathway story
- Why the Trans and Non-binary community avoid cancer screening
In the presentation Stewart O’Callaghan, CEO and founder of Live Through This spoke about lesbian and bisexual women, they said:
“We also know that there is a lack of awareness of risk and that lack of knowledge of personal risk affects your intention to attend routine mammography. So what we tend to see in this community is there is less preventative care and it’s more likely people will engage once they’ve identified a symptom so obviously this is when we’re catching people later in their diagnostic pathway as well.”
In the presentation, Eva Echo, activist, writer and public speaker, said:
“People tend not to do anything until it’s absolutely necessary and the whole point of screening is to prevent that.
“When it comes to services, to make them more inclusive, make sure we are hearing trans people, make sure we are taking their lives into account, being respectful and even the simplest things such as pronouns.”
Dr Rory McGill, Consultant in Public Health from Sefton Council also joined the session. He said:
“Discussing the barriers to screening for the LGBTQI+ community is extremely important within the NHS and beyond. We need to see the person within the patient, provide safe spaces for all to receive the care they need and value lived experience as an important factor of healthcare.”
The presentations from the session can be accessed below:
For more information on the Collaborative’s Cancer Screening Programme please click here