Social Support and Sexual Minority Women with Breast Cancer

I am conducting a research study on social support and sexual minority women (lesbian, bisexual, queer, women who have sex with women, trans men and women, etc.) who have had breast cancer.

A full description of the study is available below.

If this survey applies to you, I hope you will consider participating.

As this is a very small population and difficult to find, I am also hoping you can help me reach other women by sharing this link with your networks or with any individuals you know for whom this survey would be appropriate, or who may know someone themselves who might be appropriate. Your experiences are important to me, and your help would be greatly appreciated.

Please let me know ( if you have any questions, and thank you for your help!

Maria T. Brown, LMSW, PhD
Syracuse University

My name is Maria Brown, and I am a professor at Syracuse University. I am inviting you to participate in a research study. Involvement in the study is voluntary, so you may choose to participate or not, and you may change your mind and leave the study at any time. This page will explain the study to you and please feel free to contact me by email ( with questions about the research. I am happy to explain anything in detail if you wish.

I am interested in learning more about the sources of stress and social support affecting sexual minority women (lesbians, bisexual women, women who have sex with women, transgender women) who have had breast cancer. I am asking adult women of all ages and from all walks of life, who identify as a member of a sexual minority (lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or women who have sex with women) to share their breast cancer experiences, and how their life has been affected by having breast cancer. You are being asked to participate in a survey. This will take approximately 30-45 minutes of your time. Once you begin the survey, you can take a break at any time, and you will be able to return in the next 6 days to complete the survey. All responses entered in an incomplete survey will be saved for six (6) days. All information will be kept confidential. This means that your name will not appear anywhere and your specific answers will not be linked to your name in any way.

If you decide to take part in the survey, and at least partially complete the survey, you will be given the choice of entering in a raffle for a $10 Amazon e-gift card. The odds of winning the gift card will be 1 in 20. You do not have to answer any questions you are not comfortable answering. Entering the raffle will require you to share your email address at the end of the survey. This email address will not be used to link your survey responses to your email address, and we will make every effort to protect your confidentiality. Your survey responses and your email address will be stored in separate electronic files on my password-protected computer, and your email address will never again be connected to the survey data.

Whenever one works with email or the internet, there is always the risk of compromising privacy, confidentiality, and/or anonymity. Your confidentiality will be maintained to the degree permitted by the technology being used. It is important for you to understand that no guarantees can be made regarding the interception of data sent via the internet by third parties.

The benefit of this research is that you will be helping us to better understand the sources of stress and social support of sexual minority women with breast cancer, and identify ways in which sexual orientation or gender identity are relevant to breast cancer treatment and life as a breast cancer survivor. This information should help us to better understand what sexual minority women go through in these situations, in order to develop programs that better serve this population. In addition, I will be publishing the results of this survey, to serve as a resource for other sexual minority women facing breast cancer. There are no personal benefits to you from taking part in this study.

The risk to you of participating in this study is that it may be upsetting to think about things you went through during your breast cancer experience or as a result of having breast cancer. If participating in this project brings up difficult feelings about your breast cancer experience, or if you would like the support of other sexual minority women who have been through cancer, you can join the Facebook group for Lesbian Cancer Survivors and Caregivers ( This is a members-only group of lesbians who have had cancer, or who have cared for someone with cancer – they come from all over the world, have different types of cancer, and are at different stages of diagnosis, treatment, recovery, survivorship, or bereavement. You can also find additional information for LGBT people with cancer at The National LGBT Cancer Network (

If you do not want to take part in this survey, you have the right to refuse to take part, without penalty. If you decide to take part and later no longer wish to continue, you have the right to withdraw from the study at any time, without penalty.

To protect your privacy, information about your participation in this study will not be shared with anyone else, including any acquaintances, agency staff members, or service providers who may have forwarded you the email invitation to participate in the survey.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints about the research, please contact the researcher Maria T. Brown at 315-443-4685. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, you have questions, concerns, or complaints that you wish to address to someone other than the investigator, or if you cannot reach the investigators, contact the Syracuse University Institutional Review Board at 315-443-3013.

314 Lyman Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244   (315) 443 3685


One response to “Social Support and Sexual Minority Women with Breast Cancer

  1. Pingback: Ongoing study of social support and sexual minority women with breast cancer | PhotoLily·

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