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Minerva Obstetrics and Gynecology 2021 May 04

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-606X.21.04802-8


language: English

Cancer screenings among sexual and gender minorities by midwives’ point of view

Marisa P. MESSINA 1, Alessio D’ANGELO 1, Rebecca GIOVAGNOLI 1, Monica NAPOLITANO 2, Carla PETRELLA 3, Massimo RALLI 4, Antonio GRECO 4, Alba RICCHI 5, Isabella NERI 5, Marco FIORE 3 , Mauro CECCANTI 6

1 Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Urology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Azienda Universitaria della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy; 3 Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, IBBC-CNR, Rome, Italy; 4 Department of Sense Organs, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 5 Department of Gynecology, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 6 SITAC, Società Italiana per il Trattamento dell’Alcolismo Rome, Rome, Italy


BACKGROUND: Although women belonging to sexual and gender minorities are more at risk of gynecological and breast cancer, pieces of evidence have been provided that this population finds hardships getting involved in cancer screening programs. This happens because they tend to avoid clinical settings because of fear of discrimination, heteronormative assumptions, heterosexism, classism and homophobic slurs by healthcare professionals. On the other hand, medical programs that allow healthcare providers to have experience with LGBTQ people are scarce and there are no specific tools to assess sexual cancer risks in this population.
METHODS: Studies included were obtained searching MEDLINE with keywords “lesbians”, “queer women”, “trans women”, “LGBTQ women”, “cervical cancer screening”, “pap test”, “oncology screening”, “mammogram” and “prevention”. 1577 papers were found. After filtering for species, sex, language and time range, 820 papers were left. The number of works included was 24 after title screening and 20 after abstract screening and full-text screening.
CONCLUSIONS: More research will be needed to develop tools with an inclusive, non-judgmental and open language capable of engaging the LGBTQ community. Cancer screening programs involve a large variety of healthcare providers including midwives. Midwives are multifaceted healthcare professionals whose large competence spectrum includes a variety of knowledge and skills going from antenatal care to education and research and they may efficiently provide cancer screenings. Midwives have been asking for more specialistic roles and calling for specific instruction to face the complex and ever-changing reality.

KEY WORDS: LGBTQ; Tumor; Midwives

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