Lesbian and transgender individuals often miss crucial screening exams
In addition to having risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing cognitive changes and dementia, lesbian and transgender women may also be less likely to be screened for certain health conditions, including breast and cervical cancer.
Studies have found that lesbian women are less likely than heterosexual women to get regular mammograms. This is particularly concerning because lesbian women often have more risk factors for breast cancer. For example, a woman who has never been pregnant has a higher risk of breast cancer than someone who’s had at least one pregnancy.
Transgender people may also experience problems related to screening failures. Misconceptions remain, even among doctors, regarding what health screenings transgender men and women should receive. The best strategy is for transgender individuals to let their doctors know which organs they have. Doctors should then screen those organs as they typically would
– Be open with your provider.
When the information is relevant to your care, don’t hesitate to discuss your sexual practices and gender identity with your doctor. This can help your doctor determine what screenings you need and what health conditions you may be more likely to develop.
– Practice good health habits.
To reduce your risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses, maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods, sugar, and harmful fats. In addition, whenever possible, try to get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
– Focus on mental health.
Get help if you are experiencing mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. “Depression, in particular, makes it more difficult to engage in healthy behaviors,”. So, getting treatment can help both your mental and physical health.
– Choose an LGBT-friendly provider.
Article edited by Ria Bhatia