Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 343–349

The lack of cancer surveillance data on sexual minorities and strategies for change

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10552-007-0115-1

Cite this article as:
Bowen, D.J. & Boehmer, U. Cancer Causes Control (2007) 18: 343. doi:10.1007/s10552-007-0115-1



To consider options for gathering cancer incidence and risk factor data in sexual minority individuals.

Methods and results

Sexual minority individuals may experience cancer risk disparities, due to lifestyle and reproductive differences compared with heterosexual people. However, cancer registry systems do not routinely collect sexual minority status. Other methods of obtaining such data and comparing cancer rates and risks between sexual minority and heterosexual people are discussed. These include building on existing registry membership with a targeted survey, using existing data sources, and estimating sexual orientation status with related data.


Efforts described here could provide support for or refute the hypothesis that disparities exist in selected cancer rates in sexual minority populations and could guide targeted efforts to reduce any disparities.


Registry dataSexual minoritiesCancer rates

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Boston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research (CHQOER)BedfordUSA