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Breast cancer

According to Katherine A. O’Hanlan, lesbians "have the richest concentration of risk factors for breast cancer [of any] subset of women in the world." Additionally, many lesbians do not get routine mammograms, do breast self-exams, or have clinical breast exams.

There are also policy documents from both the UK and US Government that stated there could be higher rates of breast cancer among lesbian and bisexual women despite insufficient evidence. In a 2009 report by the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer's Inquiry into Inequalities in Cancer, it was stated that "Lesbians may have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Cervical cancer

A lack of screening for cervical cancer is among the most obvious and most preventable risk factor for lesbians in the development of invasive late-stage cervical cancer.

Depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety are thought to affect lesbians at a higher rate than in the general population, for similar reasons.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence is reported to occur in about 11 percent of lesbian homes. While this rate is about half the rate of 20 percent reported by heterosexual women, lesbians often have fewer resources available for shelter and counselling.

Physical fitness

Research shows that on average lesbians have a higher body mass index than heterosexual women.

Obesity

Lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to be overweight or obese.

Substance abuse

Lesbians often have high rates of substance use, including recreational drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Studies have shown that lesbian and bisexual women are 200% more likely to smoke tobacco than other women.

Heterosexism

Lesbians who tell their health care providers they are sexually active report being pressured to obtain birth control, since the provider often equates female sexual activity with the possibility of pregnancy.

 

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