Colorectal Cancer

[Image description: A rectangular graphic with a white background. The top of the graphic features a wide blue text banner. White text reads "Colorectal cancer is a", and rainbow-gradient text below reads "queer issue". Underneath is a single horizontal line made of intersectional Pride colors. Below is blue text that reads "Learn where you can go in the Lehigh Valley for LGBTQ-welcoming colorectal screening". The bottom of the graphic features horizontal intersectional Pride stripes, and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center logo is in the lower right corner.]



Colorectal cancers are one of the most common types of cancers in the United States [1]. However, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable [2].

At the first stage of detection, survival rates for colorectal cancers are as high as 90% [3]. That's why routine screenings are so important. 

Colorectal cancers are any cancer that affect the colon and/or rectum. It can sometimes be referred to bowel cancer. This cancer often begins as a growth, called a polyp, in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Most people who have polyps are unaware that they have them, because polyps do not present any symptoms. Colorectal examinations are the best way to find polyps, and some polyps are precancerous. 

Several types of colorectal cancer screenings are available and are covered by most health insurance plans, as required by the Affordable Care Act. The CDC recommends that adults over the age of 45 be screened for colorectal cancer for early detection and treatment [4].

If you need healthcare insurance, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center can help. Visit


Among LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians for whom colorectal cancer screenings are recommended, over 17% have never been screened, and 6% have not been screened within the past 10 years [5]. This means that more than 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians who are recommended for colorectal cancer screenings are not receiving the preventative care that they need [5].


There are numerous barriers which prevent LGBTQ individuals from receiving valuable preventative care such as cancer screenings. According to the 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment, 16.3% of LGBTQ+ individuals report not having a primary healthcare provider [5]. Of those that had a primary healthcare provider, nearly 1 in 3 of them report having had a negative reaction from a healthcare provider learns of their LGBTQ identity, and for transgender and non-binary respondents, just under 1 in 2 report having a negative experience [5]. 



LVPG General, Bariatric & Trauma Surgery - Cedar Crest 

1240 South Cedar Crest Blvd, Suite 308 

Allentown PA 18103

(610) 402-1350

LVPG General and Bariatric Surgery - Muhlenberg 

2649 Schoenersville Road, Suite 202 

Bethlehem PA 18017  

(484) 884-1007


Looking for resources? For referrals please email, [email protected]


This education campaign was funded through a grant from Olympus Corporation of the Americas.


  1. “Common Cancer Types.” National Cancer Institute, 22 Apr. 2021,
  2. What Can Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Communities Do to Advance the Shared Goal to Screen 80% of Age-Eligible Adults for Colorectal Cancer?” National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, 27 Mar. 2019,
  3. “Colorectal Cancer - Statistics.” Cancer.Net, 20 Apr. 2021,
  4. “What Should I Know about Screening for Colorectal Cancer?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 Feb. 2021,
  5. Research & Evaluation Group at Public Health Management Corporation and Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. (2022). 2022 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment.


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