Degendering Symptom Assessment to Appropriately Evaluate for Malignancies


Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO
Professor of Medicine and Professor of Surgery, Brown University
Director, The Pelvic Malignancies Program and Hematology-Oncology Outpatient Clinics, Lifespan Cancer Institute
Head, Community Outreach and Engagement, Legoretta Cancer Institute at Brown University
Director, Medical Oncology and the Oncology Sexual Health First Responders Clinic, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI
Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO

Don S. Dizon, MD, (pronouns he/him) is a Professor of Medicine and Professor of Surgery at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He is a medical oncologist specializing in pelvic malignancies, survivorship particularly as it pertains to sexual health for men and women with cancer, and social media. He grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam, and completed undergraduate and medical school at the University of Rochester in New York. He trained in internal medicine at Yale New-Haven Hospital and completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Dr. Dizon serves as the Director of The Pelvic Malignancies Program and Director of Hematology-Oncology clinics at Lifespan Cancer Institute, Director of Medical Oncology at Rhode Island Hospital, and leads community outreach and engagement for The Legoretta Cancer Center at Brown University. He serves as Chair of Digital Engagement for SWOG Oncology Research Network and Co-Chief Medical Officer of the nonprofit, Global Cancer Institute. He is on the advisory boards of multiple nonprofits, including the Hope Foundation for Cancer Research and the LGBTQ Cancer Network. He writes online columns for the journal, The Oncologist, and for ASCO Connection magazine.

Dr. Dizon is a founding member of the Collaboration for Outcomes Using Social Media in Oncology and is active on many platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Follow him @drdonsdizon.

Ash B. Alpert, MD, MFA
AHRQ T32 Post-Doctoral Fellow in Health Services Research
Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI
Department of Health Services, Policy & Practice
Ash B. Alpert, MD, MFA

Ash B. Alpert, MD, MFA (pronouns they/them), is a hematologist and medical oncologist and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality T32 Postdoctoral Fellow in health services research at the Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Alpert works with a community advisory board of transgender people who have been diagnosed with cancer, with whom they have conducted research for the last three years. With a Young Investigator Award from Conquer Cancer, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation, Dr. Alpert and colleagues are exploring best practices to ensure the safety of transgender people in clinical settings, developing patient-centered gender identity data collection methods, and investigating connections between violence and cancer.

Statement of Need

Gendered and heterosexual presumptive care settings are commonplace in health care and alienate sexual and gender minority (SGM) patients from receiving routine cancer screenings. Gendered references to gynecologic and breast cancers as “women’s cancer,” and prostate cancer as “men’s cancer,” are deeply rooted into the health care system. By disentangling gender from cancer and breaking down heteronormative assumptions, clinicians can provide equitable care to all patients, and critically, improve outcomes for SGM patients. National surveys and published literature show that SGM patients often delay cancer screenings and care for fear of stigma or mistreatment, which may result in later cancer diagnoses and poorer outcomes. Health care professionals who are trained in culturally relevant and humble care engage patients in discussions about the need for cancer screenings. Providing equitable care to SGM patients requires changing the practice environment, patient communications, and information-gathering processes to create an inclusive, affirming, and welcoming experience for diverse genders and sexual orientations. These changes can only be effective if the entire team, clinical and non-clinical staff alike, are trained in culturally relevant and humble education as they interact and care for SGM patients.

In this CMEO BriefCase, faculty will use case-based learning to demonstrate the challenges specifically related to gender assumptions that transgender and non-binary patients encounter when trying to access health care. Faculty will then provide learners with best practices on approaching conversations about cancer screening based on anatomy present, not by gender.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this CME/CE activity, participants should be able to apply efficacious and non-gendered approaches to symptom assessment.

Financial Support

Supported by an educational grant from Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp.

Target Audience

Physicians, PAs, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists specializing in oncology, obstetrics, gynecology, infectious disease and/or primary care.

Credit Information

Jointly Accredited Provider

In support of improving patient care, CME Outfitters, LLC, is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Nurses (ANCC) 0.5

This activity is designated for 0.5 contact hours.

Physicians (ACCME) 0.5

CME Outfitters, LLC, designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Pharmacists/Pharmacy Tech (ACPE) 0.5

This application-based activity is approved for 0.5 contact hours (0.05 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy credit.

Physician Assistants (AAPA): 0.5

CME Outfitters, LLC, has been authorized by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) to award AAPA Category 1 CME credit for activities planned in accordance with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 0.5 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. Approval is valid until expiration date listed above. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.


Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 0.5 medical knowledge MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

Royal College MOC

Through an agreement between the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, medical practitioners participating in the Royal College MOC Program may record completion of accredited activities registered under the ACCME’s “CME in Support of MOC” program in Section 3 of the Royal College’s MOC Program.

Note for California Nurses

This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. CME Outfitters, LLC’s provider number is CEP15510.

MIPS Improvement Activity

Completion of this accredited CME activity meets the expectations of an Accredited Safety or Quality Improvement Program (IA_PSPA_28) for the Merit-based Incentive Payment Program (MIPS). Clinicians should submit their improvement activities by attestation via the CMS Quality Payment Program website.

Disclosure Declaration

It is the policy of CME Outfitters, LLC, to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, and scientific rigor and integrity in all of their CE activities. Faculty must disclose to the participants any relationships with commercial companies whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, or with the commercial supporter of this CE activity. CME Outfitters, LLC, has evaluated, identified, and attempted to resolve any potential conflicts of interest through a rigorous content validation procedure, use of evidence-based data/research, and a multidisciplinary peer review process. The following information is for participant information only. It is not assumed that these relationships will have a negative impact on the presentations.

Dr. Dizon reports the following financial relationships: Consultant: DSMB/IDMC activities for AstraZeneca and Clovis Oncology. Research Institutional Support: Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer Inc. Other financial or material support: Board member for the LGBTQ Cancer Network.

Dr. Alpert reports no financial relationships.

  • Michael Franks, APRN, AGACNP-BC, FNP-BC (peer reviewer)
  • Julie Strickland, PharmD (planning committee)
  • David Modrak, PhD (planning committee)
  • Kathleen Blake, PhD (planning committee)
  • Thomas Mitchell (planning committee)
  • Susan H. Yarbrough, CHCP (planning committee)
  • Sharon Tordoff (planning committee)

Disclosures were obtained from the CME Outfitters, LLC, staff: No disclosures to report.

Faculty of this CE activity may include discussions of products or devices that are not currently labeled for use by the FDA. The faculty have been informed of their responsibility to disclose to the audience if they will be discussing off-label or investigational uses (any uses not approved by the FDA) of products or devices.

Obtaining Credits

Post-tests, credit request forms, and activity evaluations must be completed online (requires free account activation), and participants can print their certificate or statement of credit immediately (75% pass rate required). This website supports all browsers except Internet Explorer for Mac. For complete technical requirements and privacy policy, visit our Privacy & Confidentiality page.


NOTE: Pharmacist CE Universal Activity Number, Enduring: JA0007185-0000-22-091-H01-P.

Questions about this activity?

Call us at (877) CME-PROS or (877) 263-7767.




Degendering Symptom Assessment to Appropriately Evaluate for Malignancies
Event Date: 05/23/2022