Cancer Australia, on behalf of the Australian Government, is developing the ten-year Australian Cancer Plan.
The Plan aims to improve cancer outcomes for all Australians and identifies LGBTIQ+ people as a priority population whose health outcomes are poorer. Achieving equity in cancer outcomes is a key measure of the Australian Cancer Plan.
Certain cancers, including breast, ovarian and anal cancers, disproportionately affect LGBTIQA+ people. The National Preventive Health Strategy also highlights LGBTIQ+ people have a worse experience during diagnosis and treatment, and survival rates are lower. The current Draft National Strategy for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer in Australia acknowledges issues for LGBTQ+ people with a cervix.
This is caused by a range of factors, including barriers to accessing services, especially due to fear of discrimination and inadequate knowledge about the specific needs of LGBTIQ+ populations.
LHA’s submission on the consultation draft supports the overall Plan and calls for:
- Realistic funding for LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations and sound procurement practices for generalist organisations working with LGBTIQ+ people to underpin the plan’s vital strategies for collaboration and community-led partnerships.
- Further development and integration of diversity and intersectionality as it affects different populations with the overarching term ‘LGBTIQ+’, especially in relation to specific needs of people with intersex variation.
- Urgent action to improve data collection and research to ensure that specific targets are set for LGBTIQ+ populations, with effective and resourced monitoring and evaluation.
The consultation draft of the Australian Cancer Plan was on public exhibition from 3 November to 16 December 2022. For further information: https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/australian-cancer-plan