LGBTQ+ Cancer Care

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When faced with a cancer diagnosis, LGBTQ+ patients can experience unique challenges and health disparities. With a dedication to inclusiveness and a mission to provide quality health care to all we serve, Norton Cancer Institute treats the whole person, not just the cancer.

If you are LGBTQ+, it’s important to be open and honest with your medical provider so that we can work together to meet your health needs.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has regularly recognized Norton Cancer Institute, along with Norton Healthcare’s five Louisville hospitals, with the LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader designation, based on our approach to and practices for the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ+ Risk for Cancer

LGBTQ+ patients are at a higher risk for certain types of cancers such as breast cancerlung canceranal cancer and skin cancer. Norton Healthcare provides innovative treatments to LGBTQ+ patients challenged with cancer, as well as compassion and support to their families and loved ones.

In addition, cancer screening rates may be lower in LGBTQ+ community due to past negative health care experiences. It is important to discuss appropriate cancer screening with your health care provider. Mammogramscervical cancer screening and anal Pap tests are some of the important cancer screening tests. For certain patients, lung cancer screening may be appropriate.

Smoking cessation and HPV vaccination are among the steps that can lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

HPV infections and cervical precancers have dropped since HPV vaccines first were used in the United States in 2006. Still, cervical cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Don’t take a risk of not being protected.

Smoking Cessation

Norton Healthcare offers free classes to help you achieve a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle. Classes follow the American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking program, proven to be effective for millions of smokers.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is not the same as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Some types of HPV can cause health issues, including genital warts and cancer. Typically, the body’s immune system fights off the virus, but some people develop a persistent infection.

The HPV vaccine can help prevent cancers and other complications associated with the virus.

HPV is the most common cause of anal cancer in men and greatly increases the risk for developing cervical cancer in patients with a cervix. HPV and other STIs can be transferred orally, anally, skin to skin and from sharing toys during sex.

Barriers to Care

Historical health care barriers for the LGBTQ+ community may have led some in the community to be reluctant about preventive screenings. Making matters worse, much of the discussion around sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has focused on heterosexual couples.

Those in the LGBTQ+ community tend to seek out cancer screenings less than heterosexuals, posing a greater risk to them and their partners.

Fewer screenings reduce opportunities to catch cancers when they are in the early stages and more easily treated.

Trust in the medical provider is a major barrier. Those in the LGBTQ+ community sometimes do not feel comfortable “coming out” to their provider out of concerns about poor treatment or judgment.

LGBTQ+ patients can find Norton Healthcare providers who have stepped forward as inclusive providers to make LGBTQ+ patients feel comfortable.

It is important that everyone we see feel included and comfortable discussing all aspects of their health. We want to be advocates and a source of information for everyone.

LGBTQ+ Cancer Care

Norton Healthcare is an inclusive cancer care provider. We believe every person has a right to the best health care experience and treatment options.

As you embark on your cancer journey, we want you to be comfortable coming out to your provider. Because LGBTQ+ patients face unique health risks, it’s important to be open with your cancer care team.

When your health care provider knows you on a more personal level, they can help identify and recommend screening or treatment options and plans based on your personal needs and goals. Your provider is here to be an advocate and resource for all aspects of your mental and physical health.

We offer multidisciplinary oncology care from specialists at the leading edge of cancer treatment.

Getting cancer treatment should be convenient. We strive to make it as easy as possible with:

  • Nine outpatient locations
  • Four radiation centers
  • Multiple infusion centers
  • Same-day appointments for new patients

Why Choose Norton Cancer Institute

More patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Cancer Institute than any other provider in the area. We provide compassionate care for the whole person, not just the cancer.

Our Norton Cancer Institute oncologists are also researchers and principal investigators, offering patients sophisticated experience in the latest treatments and access to more than 200 clinical trials.

  • Access to more than 100 specialists, including board-certified and fellowship-trained oncologists
  • Multidisciplinary setting, meaning you get the benefit of opinions from multiple specialists across Norton Healthcare and often can schedule appointments for the same day in the same location
  • Immunotherapies such as CAR-T cell therapy, genetic therapies tailored to combat the unique genetic makeup of your cancer and the latest in surgical treatments, chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • State-of-the-art Norton Cancer Institute Genomics Lab offering highly specialized testing that makes it possible to tailor advanced treatments based on a tumor’s specific genetic composition
  • Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy for minimally invasive lung biopsies that can reach more parts of the lung without major surgery
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance accepted
  • At Norton Specialty Pharmacy, patients receive regular consultations on their medications and treatment plan, making sure they get their prescriptions quickly and accurately. Our specialty pharmacists collaborate closely with your oncology team.
  • Use your free Norton MyChart account to communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions, get on the wait list for an earlier appointment and more anytime from a mobile device or computer

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