The following article features coverage from the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Sexual orientation might influence a person’s decision to pursue screening for gender-specific malignancies such as prostate, breast, and cervical cancer, according to the results of a cross-sectional United States study reported at the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

The study population included 10,000 adult men and women identified from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) database in a 2-year span (2017-2019). Among the men identified, 4441 were heterosexual and 225 were homosexual or bisexual. Of the women, 6333 were heterosexual and 213 were homosexual or bisexual.

Men who identified as homosexual or bisexual were found to undergo screening for prostate cancer less often than men who identified as heterosexual (34.7% vs 41.3%; P =0.013). Similarly, homosexual or bisexual women sought screening for breast cancer (54.5% vs 80.7%; P <0.001) or cervical cancer (88.3% vs 95.4%; P <0.001) less often than heterosexual women.

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Data from a multivariate analysis showed that homosexual or bisexual men were less likely to pursue screening for prostate cancer compared with men who were heterosexual (odds ratio [OR], 0.61; 95% CI, 0.39-0.95).

In the multivariate analysis, homosexual or bisexual women were also less likely to undergo screening for breast cancer (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.30-0.92) or cervical cancer (OR, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.09-0.46). This finding was observed despite cervical cancer being diagnosed in women who were homosexual (4.76%) or bisexual (3.70%) significantly more often than in heterosexual women (1.85%; P =0.039). 

The study authors noted that the implementation of cancer screening among sexual minorities should be improved.

Disclosures: Some of the study authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and/or the medical device industry. For a full list of disclosures, please refer to the original study.

Read more of our coverage of the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium by visiting the conference page.


Herriges MJ, Pinkhasov R, Lehavot K, et al. The association between sexual orientation and screening of prevalent gender-specific cancers. Poster presented at: 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium; February 11-13, 2021. Abstract 198.