Health of Sexual and Gender Minorities

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) maintains a strong commitment to health disparities research, which includes DCCPS efforts to support research aimed at addressing the mechanisms contributing to disparities across the cancer control continuum. This includes understanding the extent and causes of cancer health inequities experienced by sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations. NCI follows the NIH definition of SGM, described here.

A growing body of evidence suggests that members of SGM populations experience higher rates of certain cancers and worse physical and mental health after diagnosis than do non-SGM populations. Additionally, research suggests that outcomes may vary across sub-populations (e.g., bisexual and transgender). There is increasing recognition that prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship care all too often fails to acknowledge or address the unique needs of SGM population. These include the fear of stigmatization and discrimination, inadequate recognition of SGM-specific risk factors and medical care considerations, and the role of individuals who are recognized as family members absent from a biological or legal relationship. DCCPS efforts to understand and address disparate outcomes experienced by SGM populations include funding opportunities and other activities described below.

A major barrier to advancing SGM cancer research is the lack of systematic and standardized SOGI data collection in surveillance, research, and clinical settings. The NIH-commissioned report titled “Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation” from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides a model for measuring SOGI in research settings.

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Notice of Funding Opportunities

Learn more about the PAR

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Data Collection Supplement

The implementation of the National Academies-identified measures at NCI-designated Cancer Centers was funded through an NCI-sponsored and DCCPS-coordinated supplement initiative. This initiative emphasized that cancer centers, in collaboration with their satellite and outlying clinics, assess factors associated with the implementation of standardized SOGI data collection, such as feasibility, acceptability, adoption, and appropriateness.

Read more about the supplement initiative

Related Reports and Publications


Last Updated
March 21, 2024