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While very few cancer studies gather data on the sexual orientation of its subjects, new research published in the online medial journal Cancer reports that homosexual males in California are "nearly twice as likely to report a cancer diagnosis as straight men in the state."
The study, which was based on a large health survey conducted by the state of California, sought to explore the impact cancer had on local gay men and lesbians.
According to the results, about 8% of California's gay men had been diagnosed with some form of cancer versus only about 5% of straight men. Meanwhile, cancer diagnoses among lesbians were more evenly matched with those of straight women.
HIV is speculated to be one of the major contributing reasons for the larger number of diagnoses among gay men.
"There's a higher prevalence of HIV positive men in the gay population, and we know that being HIV positive is related to cancers, so this might drive the differences we found," said Ulrike Boehmer, an associate professor at Boston University School of Public Health, and one of the study's authors.
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