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Prostate cancer in gay and bisexual men

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Sexual orientation is an important factor Sexual orientation is an important factor to consider when assessing patients

In the UK prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and accounts for around a quarter (26%) of male cases.1 One in 8 men at some point in their lives will get prostate cancer, 250,000 men are living with prostate cancer. Mistry et al2 have predicted that by 2030 prostate cancer is set to become the most prevalent of all cancers in the UK.

There is a dearth of research and understanding concerning the needs and experiences of gay and bisexual men with prostate cancer. In most of the research undertaken to investigate issues affecting men with prostate cancer, one important factor that is repeatedly omitted is the man’s sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation

Dibble et al3 define sexual orientation as ‘an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional attraction toward others’ and it ‘exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality’. It should be noted that there are men who have sex with men (MSM) or other homosexually active men but non-gay identified, men in heterosexual relationships but are sexually active with men, and transgender women. The needs of MSM will require specific investigation.

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