New Effort Targets Unique Health Needs of LBT New Yorkers

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LBTScanVan

The NYC LGBT Community Center

Project Renewal’s ScanVan, a mobile mammography clinic, will offer free breast cancer screenings at the NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Community Center on Monday, April 27, from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM.

The event is one of the frequent screenings that Project Renewal provides at this location, in partnership with The Center’s Lesbian Cancer Initiative (LCI). The LCI offers services, referrals, and support to its community members, who generally have greater risk factors for various types of cancers than the general population.

In particular, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) individuals are at greater risk for breast cancer due to factors that include:

  • Lower participation in cancer screenings due to lower incomes, lower rates of insurance coverage (though this is changing with marriage equality and the Affordable Care Act), and fear of discrimination
  • Higher rates of tobacco and alcohol use; higher obesity rates; and more sedentary lifestyles
  • Higher risk reproductive patterns including nulliparity; having fewer kids or kids at a later age; and less time breast-feeding or using oral contraceptives

Cancer registries do not currently gather data about sexual orientation or gender identity, so information is grossly lacking about the actual cancer burden for this group.

Each year, Project Renewal’s ScanVan, the nation’s first mobile mammography clinic, serves thousands of homeless, low-income, and underinsured New Yorkers at screening events at over 200 locations throughout New York City. The ScanVan targets at-risk, hard-to-reach populations to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to mammograms, regardless of health insurance status, economic status, and location.

The ScanVan staff has been working with The Center for 5 years, and has maintained other partnerships within the LGBT community for many more.

For more information about the ScanVan, click here. To make an appointment for the April 27 screening, call 646-556-9294. The Center is located at 208 W 13 St., between 7th and 8th Ave.