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Dr. Christabel Cheung and Doctoral Student Haelim Lee Published in Cancer Medicine

Assistant Professor Christabel Cheung, Doctoral Student Haelim Lee, and colleagues at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center published results from a new study in Cancer Medicine titled, “Disparities in cancer care among sexual and gender minority adolescent and young adult patients: A scoping review.”


Background: Adolescent and young adult cancer patients (AYAs) who are sexual and gender minorities (SGM) are a rapidly increasing population that experiences unmet cancer-related needs. Despite emerging awareness, little is known about cancer care and outcomes for this vulnerable population. The purpose of this scoping review was to explore current knowledge and gaps in the literature on cancer care and outcomes for AYAs who identify as SGM.

Methods: We reviewed empirical knowledge on SGM AYAs by identifying, describing, and critically appraising the literature to date. We conducted a comprehensive search on OVID MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL in February 2022. Additionally, we developed and piloted a conceptual framework for appraising SGM AYA research.

Results: A total of 37 articles were included in the final review. Most studies focused exclusively on SGM-related outcomes as the primary aim of the study (81.1%, n=30), whereas others included some focus on SGM-related outcomes (18.9%, n=7). The majority of studies included AYAs as part of a broader age range (86.0%, n=32), and only a few studies examined exclusively AYA samples (14.0%, n=5). Gaps in scientific evidence on SGM AYAs were seen across the cancer care continuum.

Conclusion: Numerous gaps in knowledge of cancer care and outcomes exist for SGM AYAs diagnosed with cancer. Future efforts should fill this void with high-quality empirical studies that reveal unknown disparities in care and outcomes and are inclusive of the intersectionality of SGM AYAs with other minoritized experiences, thereby advancing health equity in meaningful ways.


Cheung, C.K., Lee, H., Levin, N.J., Ross, V.A., Geng, Y.M., Thomas, B.N., & Roth, M.E. (accepted). Disparities in cancer care among sexual and gender minority adolescent and young adult patients: A scoping review. Cancer Medicine.



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