Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in men in the USA, but the effect of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment on men in a sexual minority group, including men who have sex with men and transgender women, is poorly understood. Efforts to study this population are complicated, as cancer registries do not routinely collect information on sexual orientation. As a result, epidemiological data regarding this population have come from small studies that have included disparate rates of prostate cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment. Qualitative studies indicate that prostate cancer is experienced differently by sexual minorities, with distinct health-care needs that arise owing to differences in sexual practices, social support systems and relationships with the medical community. Notably, sexual minorities have been reported to experience poorer health-related quality of life outcomes than heterosexual men, and tend to have less robust social support systems, experience increased psychological distress caused by sexual dysfunction (areas of which are unmeasured after treatment), experience isolation within the health-care system and express increased levels of dissatisfaction with treatment. The incidence of prostate cancer actually seems to be decreased in men from sexual minorities living with HIV, despite there being no differences in screening and treatment, with poor cancer-specific mortality. Although the literature on patients with prostate cancer in men from sexual minority groups has historically been sparse, peer-reviewed research in this area has grown considerably during the past decade and has become an important field of study.
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