Radiation therapy graduates strive to improve care for LGBTQ2SPIA+ cancer patients

Adrianna MacPherson - 12 March 2021

A new study led by a group of recently graduated radiation therapy students at the University of Alberta shows that many in the profession feel more training is needed to properly care for cancer patients in the LGBTQ2SPIA+ community.

The team—Samantha Chan, Samie Ly, Jordyn Mackie and Serena Wu—sent out a 22-question survey to a selection of practising radiation therapists in Canada. The sample size was relatively small, with 214 radiation therapists completing the survey, but the results highlighted distinct areas for improvement.

More than 90 per cent of respondents indicated that being conscious of this community was important to them, yet more than 70 per cent were unfamiliar with all terms referenced in the LGBTQ2SPIA+ abbreviation—short for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, two-spirit, pansexual, intersex, asexual, plus—and 34.5 per cent reported rarely or never adapting their practice behaviour when caring for this community.