Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

National Focus for Lesbian Survivors

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

National Focus for Lesbian Survivors

Article excerpt

Although cancer is one of today's most-talked-about diseases, it is rare for that conversation to focus on lesbians. But for three days in September, that's exactly what happened when hundreds of people from lesbian cancer-advocacy organizations, the medical community, and government agencies gathered for the first-ever national symposium on lesbians and cancer.

"We wanted this conference to help create more local grassroots lesbian health organizations," said Kathleen DeBold, executive director of the Mautner Project, which organized the Healing Works conference, held September 21-23 in Washington, D.C.

Another goal was to give activists and lesbian cancer survivors the opportunity to work with government officials and researchers in establishing a future agenda for lesbian cancer research and support services.

"We need to push researchers to pay attention to the needs of lesbians and bisexual women in our community," said Juanita Crespo of the Chicago-based Lesbian Community Cancer Project. "We need to push women to speak up for themselves, to identify what they lack and what they need, and to get health providers and researchers to address that. …

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