Meet Amanda Bolderston, a radiation therapist, researcher, and co-founder of Queering Cancer. Through her personal journey and unwavering dedication, Amanda Bolderston is making a remarkable impact in the cancer care community.
As a clinical therapist, Amanda saw how LGBTQ2S+ patients were being overlooked and treated differently. Her doctoral research focused on the disparities experienced by this community.
“This group tends to have worse experiences and outcomes across the cancer care continuum, from screening to survivorship, compared to heterosexual and cisgender people and have overall less satisfied with their care,” she says.
In collaboration with graduate students Evan Taylor and Meghan Taylor, Amanda co-founded Queering Cancer, “Our mission is to improve cancer care for the LGBTQ2+ community by carrying out research and providing resources and support for patients, families, caregivers, community organizations, and healthcare professionals,” says Amanda.
Queering Cancer aims to bridge the gaps in cancer care and empower LGBTQ2+ individuals through various initiatives. Amanda emphasizes the need for a more welcoming environment within healthcare settings. She states, “I’d love to see healthcare professionals who are educated in affirming care. This includes the physical environment, processes, and support services within our cancer centers and clinics.”
A key aspect of their work is research. Amanda highlights the importance of studying the unique challenges faced by different minority groups within the LGBTQ2+ community.
“We need more research into cancer care issues affecting this patient population, particularly trans and non-binary people,” she asserts. Queering Cancer aims to “de-gender” oncology, ensuring inclusive language, and addressing the specific needs of all individuals.
When asked about advice for LGBTQ+ individuals facing cancer, Amanda offers valuable guidance. She encourages them to seek support and not hesitate to communicate their needs. Amanda reminds them, “Don’t hesitate to speak up and advocate for yourself if you feel safe to do so. You have the right to be yourself and to experience equitable and compassionate care.”
By addressing disparities, advocating for inclusive care, and empowering patients to speak up, Amanda and her team are building a stronger support system for the LGBTQ2S+ cancer community.
To learn more about Queering Cancer and its impactful work, visit their website. This June, you can also attend their virtual screening of the documentary “Trans Dudes with Lady Cancer.” This film follows the experiences of two trans-masculine individuals and their communities as they navigate breast and ovarian cancer. Click here to learn more.