Don Dizon, MD on the Experiences of Gay and Transgender Patients With Cancer


Don Dizon, MD, spotlights the daunting experiences lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients with cancer face, tracing that experience from diagnosis throughout treatment and continuing into symptom management.

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Don Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO, director of women’s cancers at the Lifespan Cancer Institute, director of medical oncology at Rhode Island Hospital, and professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, emphasizes the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients with cancer and negative interactions that can impact their cancer care experience.


What people may not realize, particularly my colleagues, is that any person who identifies as lesbian or gay or bisexual or trans[gender], every single time they meet a new doctor, there’s that moment of anxiety of, ‘Do I need to come out to this person? Are they going to ask me? What are going to be the repercussions if I do?’ Now imagine that someone is being treated for cancer, which is a multidisciplinary treated disease these days. You’re not only meeting an oncologist; you’re meeting nursing staff, infusion staff, navigators, [and] medical assistants, in addition to a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, and even a surgeon. All those time points, do you need to come out? It’s really quite daunting. All you need is 1 event where that [patient] was treated with disrespect and it can color the whole experience for that person. And not in good ways.

Related Videos
Implementing tax benefits for manufacturers who produce chemotherapy drugs may be one solution to increase drug production in the United States, according to Lucio N. Gordan, MD.
Lucio N. Gordan, MD, describes how his practice deals with increasing costs of limited chemotherapy agents to ensure that patients with cancer continue to receive treatment.
Lucio N. Gordan, MD, also discusses how increasing domestic manufacturing of chemotherapy may help in alleviating the ongoing shortages of carboplatin and cisplatin in the United States.
Kirollos Hanna, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, FACCC, believes that national legislation can help to resolve the United States’ current dearth of cisplatin, as well as prevent future problems.
Using an AUC of 5 instead of an AUC of 6 can help to conserve cisplatin among patients with cancer, Kirollos Hanna, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, FACCC says.
While there is a cisplatin shortage in the United States, the FDA has approved the importation of select chemotherapy drugs from China to help mitigate the scarcity of the agents.
Recommendations penned by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Society for Gynecologic Oncology may be critical in managing the ongoing chemotherapy shortage, according to Michael Ganio, PharmD, MS, BCPS, FASHP.
Chemotherapy agents imported from Chinese manufacturers may have barcodes that don’t work or be missing an NDC number, according to Michael Ganio, PharmD, MS, BCPS, FASHP.
Results of a survey from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network indicate that almost all responding institutions are experiencing a carboplatin shortage.
Although opioid use guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control exclude patients with cancer, drug screenings are required that could further contribute to racial disparities.
Related Content