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Breast, Prostate, Colorectal, and Lung Cancer Incidence and Risk Factors in Women Who Have Sex with Women and Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analysis Using UK Biobank

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Underwood, Sarah 
Lyratzopoulos, Georgios  ORCID logo
Saunders, Catherine L  ORCID logo


jats:pBackground. There is limited evidence about cancer incidence for lesbian, gay and bisexual women and men, although the prevalence of cancer risk factors may be higher. Aim. To describe cancer incidence for four common cancers (breast, lung, colorectal and prostate). Methods. This project used UK Biobank participant data. We explored risk factor prevalence (age, deprivation, ethnicity, smoking, alcohol intake, obesity, parity, and sexual history), and calculated cancer risk, for six groups defined based on sexual history; women who have sex exclusively with men (WSEM), or women (WSEW), women who have sex with men and women (WSWM); men who have sex exclusively with women (MSEW), or men (MSEM), and men who have sex with women and men (MSWM). Results. WSEW, WSWM, MSEM, and MSMW were younger, more likely to smoke, and to live in more deprived neighbourhoods. We found no evidence of an association between sexual history and breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer in age-adjusted models. Lung cancer incidence was higher for WSWM compared with WSEM, HR (95%CI) 1.78 (1.28–2.48), p = 0.0005, and MSWM compared with MSEW, 1.43 (1.03–1.99), p = 0.031; after adjustment for smoking, this difference was no longer significant. Conclusions. Sexual minority groups have a higher risk for lung cancer, due to greater exposure to smoking.</jats:p>


Peer reviewed: True


Article, cancer epidemiology, cancer risk, cancer incidence, inequalities, sexual minority health

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Cancer Research UK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship (C18081/A18180)