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LGBTQ+ community at higher risk of cancer, study finds

Jackie Hai/KJZZ
A flag flying at Phoenix Pride in 2018.

LGBTQ+ community members have a higher risk for cancer and experience barriers to high-quality health care according to a recent study from the American Cancer Society.

The study showed higher rates of smoking, obesity and alcohol consumption in the LGBTQ+ population. The American Cancer Society hosted a briefing to discuss the study’s findings. Dr. Austin Chaing, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, spoke about doctors who can legally refuse care for a patient because of their gender identity.

“In nine states, where 20% of the LGBTQ+ community reside, it’s actually legal for health professionals to refuse care based on personal and religious beliefs," Chaing said.

Last year, Gov. Katie Hobbs signed executive orders requiring state employee health care to cover medically necessary gender affirming surgery. The orders also prohibit state agencies from supporting conversion therapy treatment for minors.

Nick Karmia has always been a storyteller. Originally from the Chicagoland area, he transferred from community college to pursue a bachelor's degree in journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.