An Introduction to Male Cancers
Over 160,000 men are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year.
If only 3% of these are gay or bisexual men, this suggests that over 4,800 gay or bi men are diagnosed with some form of cancer annually.
There are over 200 different types of cancer, some linked with smoking, alcohol and other lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, poor diet and sexual health. Community surveys suggest that gay men, in general, drink and smoke more than straight men, putting them at greater health risk. There is currently an absence of reliable data on the health needs of gay and bisexual men and many gay and bisexual men don’t discuss cancer with a healthcare professional.
This means that there is a need for gay and bisexual men to become more aware of the risks of health issues such as cancer, and be more open about discussing their sexual orientation with health professionals to help them understand wider health issues.
Although cancer risk is affected by hereditary factors, we can have control over many things that affect our own chances of developing cancer.
This booklet is designed to look at some of the cancers that gay and bisexual men are concerned about. It has been informed by gay & bisexual men and includes thoughts and feelings on how cancer has affected them. It’s impossible to know everything about cancer, but we can always learn more about who to ask for help and what we can do to make sure we get the support that we need, when we need it.