A forum for lesbian and bisexual women on breast cancer will be held next month.

The forum, organised by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV), is open to all women, whether they have breast cancer or not.

GLHV researcher Catherine Barrett said the group aims to provide information and give women a chance to discuss their experiences with breast cancer or dealing with breast cancer services.

“At [Midsumma] Carnival, the number of women coming up and saying, ‘My GP told me I don’t have to have a Pap smear and I don’t have to have a mammogram’, was amazing,” Barrett told the Star Observer. “I was amazed at the level of ignorance, not from the women, but from the GPs.”

Although there is no specific data on the prevalence of breast cancer in lesbians, it’s thought lesbians are at greater risk because they are less likely to have children, and are more likely to be overweight.
They also smoke and drink more heavily than their heterosexual counterparts.

Speakers on the day include Deakin University researcher Dr Rhonda Brown, Breast Screen Victoria’s Maura Connelly and psychologist Carol-Ann Allen. Barrett said she is also looking for feedback from the group to use as a reference guide for services.The forum will be held on Thursday, December 8, 4-6pm at 215 Franklin St, Melbourne.

INFO: RSVP Catherine on 03 9285 5297 or email c.barrett@latrobe.edu.au

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