This personal story from the UK’s Royal Marsden Cancer Centre highlights 39-year-old Miranda, a secondary breast cancer patient. Miranda was initially diagnosed in August 2014 when she was 32 years old. She is shared her story to raise awareness of secondary breast cancer and cancer representation as a black woman in the LGBTQ+ community.
Representation really matters. I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer at 32 and secondary at 37, which surprises people. But cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter about age, if you’re black, or LGBTQ, or non-binary, or disabled. If you’re going to get it, you’re going to get it.
Raising awareness of cancer in the LGBTQ+ community is so important. Early diagnosis for trans people can often be missed if they don’t attend their cervical or prostate checks or when they’re not invited to attend. I think more can be done with raising awareness in these areas.
Nurses who wear the rainbow lanyards and badges make patients feel comfortable to talk about their sexuality and any issues they want to discuss which might be more sensitive, it’s important for people to feel comfortable when having these conversations.
If I had to give a piece of advice to someone that has newly been diagnosed, I would say to make use of support groups, avoid self-diagnosis, go to official charities for information, research, advocacy, and talk to friends and family for much needed support