Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Adjustment After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little research has been devoted to lesbian and bisexual survivors' adjustment after breast cancer.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine differences between lesbian and bisexual survivors and to examine whether sexual minority-specific issues contribute to these survivors' adjustment.

DESIGN:

We recruited 180 lesbian and bisexual survivors with primary diagnoses of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) or I-III nonrecurrent breast cancer from a cancer registry and the community.

RESULTS:

The characteristics of lesbian and bisexual survivors of breast cancer were similar, with few exceptions, such as partner status and gender of partner. Sexual minority-specific factors contributed toward explaining lesbian and bisexual survivors' anxiety and depression but did not contribute toward explaining survivors' physical and mental health.

CONCLUSIONS:

Awareness about vulnerabilities due to partner status and about the sexual minority-specific issues that contribute to adjustment is important for medical and mental health professionals who have lesbian and bisexual breast cancer survivors as patients.

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