This peer reviewed journal article from Ellen Carr was published in Seminars in Oncology Nursing in 2018. The author captures the personal perspectives from four lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals diagnosed and treated for breast, Hodgkins, anal and ovarian cancer. The participants provide insights about their cancer journeys and offer suggestions to clinicians about caring for queer people affected by cancer.
One important note is that my surgeon never questioned my decision to not reconstruct, or to become a Flattopper. She never asked me to speak with a plastic surgeon, and I never did. There was never any point during my time working with my breast cancer surgeon when I felt pressured to have reconstruction. I learned well after the fact that this is a rare occurrence. I’m immensely grateful for my surgeon. I believe that the loss of my breasts, “female” hormones, and then uterus actually gave me the space to grow into my gender in a way I couldn’t have done otherwise. Not having breasts is fantastic. I love it so much. I never would have chosen to have them amputated otherwise because I never would have chosen surgery that didn’t feel medically necessary to me. However, I am so glad they’re gone. I had no idea how relieved I would feel not having breasts (WR, aged 45, she/her, lesbian)
Citation: Carr E. The Personal Experience of LGBT Patients with Cancer. Semin Oncol Nurs. 2018 Feb;34(1):72-79. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2017.12.004. Epub 2017 Dec 25. PMID: 29284588.