Do Gay, Bisexual Men Have More Cancer?
In an article entitled: Gay, Bisexual Men Have More Cancer – at
Filed by: Alex Blaze
May 9, 2011 2:00 PM
there was this:
>>The UCLA’s California Health Interview Study (CHIS) shows that gay and bisexual men are twice as likely as straight men to have been diagnosed with cancer:
The research, from California, found that gay men were almost twice as likely as straight men to have been diagnosed with this disease. On average, diagnoses happened a decade earlier for gay men.
Of course, normal caveats apply. The population of gay and bisexual people was self-identified (of course) in a telephone interview for the study. The 2009 CHIS produced an estimate was over two percentage points fewer than Indiana University’s National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior from the same year, which was based on an online survey. And the CHIS is a study of Californians, not all Americans. That doesn’t mean there isn’t value in this finding, although it would be great to more information about the subject in later studies, especially in studies that don’t just target the LGB population.
The more important question is “why?” and the Pink News article indicates that those working in this field say that’s a good question. Studies have shown that LGB people smoke more than straight people, which can cause lung cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer is the most common type of cancer there is, and increased smoking among LGB people could significantly affect overall cancer statistic
Here’s what I commented:
>>OK, so we have no idea how many gay men there are, or bisexuals, or even a supposed definition of both – as reported at this site, in particular in regards to the Gary Gates study. And so if we go by his numbers, say, or going by twice his numbers, as a more accurate count, then we automatically double our “Rate.” That is, if you think there’s only 2.5 million gay men, and you come up with say, 10000 cancer cases, but there are really 5 million gay adult men, with the same number of cancer cases, our “rate” falls in 1/2 immediately. Therefore such a study can never be accurate.
And more to the point — what types of cancer? There are dozens. If gay men are getting any and all, that’s one thing. If we’re getting one or two types that’s another. They lead to different conclusions as to why this might be so. Though in either case, if it really is true that we get cancer at twice the rate as straight guys, is there therefore something genetic in us that makes this so? I have, much to the consternation of most gay men, thought that we’re a sort of “runt of the litter.” If it is true that we get cancer at twice the rate, then this lends credence to that idea.
If on the other hand it is true that urban males get cancer at higher rates, and the gay men they found are from urban areas, but straights are from everywhere, that too would skew the results.
The analysis of destruction of such studies is endless. But something is never quite right with any of these studies which purport to show anything about gay men. No one can define us, supposedly, and no one has a count of us, and no one has any more information about us other than what they glean from a very limited database. Ergo, the study is mush.
What I forgot to add, or couldn’t be bothered with, or which actually might rile them up, is a comment on this:
“I don’t think that the discrepancy could be caused by gay and bisexual men getting diagnosed at a higher rate – we’re less likely to have access to health care and more likely to face discrimination when it comes to health care than straight people. If anything, we’re probably being diagnosed less often, although there’s no way to prove that.”
There’s no way to know to “prove” anything here, either. There’s absolutely no way to determine whether gay men have less or more access to healthcare, or face “discrimination.” I’ve never had a doctor ask me if I’m gay. It’s irrelevant. They might have asked about sexual activity, and thus the answer must come out. But I can’t imagine what sort of “discrimination” a doctor might mete out. Certainly I’ve never heard any hue and cry over such an issue. Nor have one of my friends or acquaintances ever expressed a hint of receiving discrimination from their doctor. Nor have I ever seen any actual reportage of actual people in real life being dissed at say the emergency room or trauma center, other than the oft repeated claim here, which is just as baseless as the study contemplated, precisely for the same reason – no one has a blessed clue as to how many “gay” men there are, nor where they might be. It’s conjecture and wishful thinking, and all of that based on telephone interviews – which, lo, so is this study here.
And the lack of police vigilance in tracking down assailants in fag bashings is not the denial of healthcare. In all such cases the injured are tended to as injured, not as this or that sort of person. Lack of law enforcement is not discrimination in healthcare, however.
Moreover, even in the height of the AIDS disaster in the early 1980s, when I knew people who were dropping like flies, there in New York City, and St. Vincent’s Hospital was filled with wailing men, I never felt a shred of “discrimination” whatsoever. Nor did I ever see nor hear of any. Every professional involved was professional. Every caring person was caring. Everyone did what they could and nary a cross word was heard.
And, if the Gay Men’s Health Clinic today in NYC is any evidence, and there’s one by some name or another in nearly every sizable town, because there’s gay men and HIV/AIDS in every town, gay men can get all the healthcare they can possibly use in the most gay friendly environment they can possibly find. There is no shortage of healthcare for gay men whatsoever.
And that’s because we made it get better. Not waiting on others, but us getting done what needed doing. Within the system, under the law, with the tax money we raise from all of us to take care of any of us. Any government funding for the gay men’s healthcare providers is well paid for by gay men’s taxes. We can even afford DOMA, but that’s a different issue. However, any gay man can walk into any gay men’s clinic run by any gay men’s health organization in any city in this country and get tended to right away. They just need to do it.
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