Our Business Coordination Unit will be applying for the Rainbow Tick first, and we’ll then look to accredit our Screening Service Providers and Reading and Assessment Services.
We are committed to making sure our services are inclusive, welcoming and safe to LGBTI people.
Throughout the year, we run the following LGBTI-specific breast screening sessions at the Rose Clinic in Melbourne’s David Jones:
• Sessions for TGD people
• Sessions for all LGBTI people.
These after-hours sessions are for people who feel safer being screened with other LGBTI people.
TScreen (Trans and gender diverse screening/chest care)
To ensure our services are inclusive of trans and gender diverse (TGD) people, we have established a Gender Diverse Inclusive Breast Screening/Chest Care (formerly TScreen) project.
This project complies with the recommendations by the Victorian Government that trans and gender diverse people receive age appropriate screening and sits alongside the Beautiful Women campaign.
Beautiful Women, was a photo series campaign by photographer Lisa White celebrating the diversity of LGBTI women. It comprised of a photo exhibition, screening sessions for lesbian and bisexual women, consultation with trans and gender diverse people, and our first Rainbow Rose clinic sessions.
You can read more about the campaign and just how far our message reached across the globe on our dedicated Beautiful Women page.
Working towards a Rainbow Tick
BreastScreen Victoria is currently working towards a Rainbow Tick. As an inclusive service, we are committed to making sure that our service is an inclusive and safe environment for all eligible Victorians to screen, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
To help us achieve this we have started our journey toward achieving a Rainbow Tick. This is a program for organisations that are committed to safe and inclusive practice and service delivery for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people.
This process will start with our Business Coordination Unit first achieving the Rainbow Tick, and then applying for our Screening Service Providers and Reading and Assessment Services to also be accredited. You can learn more about how these three levels of operation work with each other on the Our Program page.
Screening for Intersex people
Currently there are no guidelines around breast screening for intersex people. Whilst you would be welcome to attend a BreastScreen Victoria clinic if you have breast tissue, it is strongly recommended that you speak with your endocrinologist first to discuss your individual screening needs and whether or not a mammogram is the best form of screening for you.
Disclosure of information
When you book and attend your appointment we will only collect information that is required to perform your breast screen. This may include whether or not you have breast implants or if you have used hormone therapy for 5 years or longer.
We will not ask you to disclose information about your sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status and relationships; however please let us know if you would like us to record this information on your file. If recorded, this information would be visible to contact centre, reception, and clinical staff who access your record. We will not record this personal information unless you provide permission.
Screening FAQ for LGBTI people
There are many barriers that exist, not only for LGBTI people which we recognise as needing a targeted approach to help overcome.
These barriers could be anything from previous poor experiences in healthcare, through to a fear that they may have to ‘come out’ in the process.
Through consultation with Representatives from the LGBTI community and LGBTI organisations we are working to make our program more inclusive and safe for all our clients.
We’ve received feedback from the LGBTI community that the Q (representing queer) can be offensive to some, especially in the age range our program is targeted towards.
Likewise, we also received feedback that a number of people identified as gay women above anything else. It is for this reason that we include the G in LGBTI.
We ask this question to all clients when they make their booking. This is because you may require a longer appointment (approximately 20 minutes) as we must make sure the implant does not impact on the quality of the mammogram being taken.
You can read more about this on our screening with implants page.
We ask this question to all clients when they make their booking. This is because women who take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may develop denser breast tissue, which may make it more difficult to detect breast cancer with mammography.
For trans women we do not recommend screening if you have been on feminising hormones for less than 5 years.
BreastScreen Victoria does not provide screening to any clients, regardless of gender, who have had a double mastectomy. You should talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about surveillance for breast cancer.
Trans men who have not had chest/top surgery and still have breast tissue are eligible to screen every two years with us once they are over the age of 40.
We acknowledge that some trans men may not feel comfortable in our program. In these cases we recommend speaking with your doctor about other screening options, but urge you to not neglect your breast/chest health.
If you have had chest surgery we recommend speaking with your doctor as there are no clear recommendations for screening after chest surgery.