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Trans and gender diverse people

Trans and gender diverse people

We think it is important that our services are accessible for trans and gender diverse (TGD) people. BreastScreen Victoria's Coordination Unit achieved a Rainbow Tick for for safe and welcoming services, and we plan for our Screening Service Providers and Reading and Assessment Services to be accredited too. This page provides information about breast/chest* health, breast cancer and screening for people who identify as trans or gender diverse.

david jones rose clinic
Rainbow Rose

You are welcome to attend any of our clinics throughout Victoria, however our  Rose Clinic in Melbourne’s CBD David Jones provides LGBTI inclusive services, including:
• 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.

You can book online or by calling 13 20 50, where you can also find out when the next Rainbow Rose sessions are. You can request the Rose Clinic or another clinic of your choice.

 
TScreen Logo
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. Read our report on how we are developing trans and gender services at BreastScreen Victoria.

Beautiful Women
Beautiful Women

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.

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

  • Being female at birth.
  • Age is the biggest risk factor. We recommend screening for people over 50.
  • While a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer is a risk factor, most people with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.

Having breast implants or binding your chest does not increase your risk. See our fact sheet, Breast screening with implants, for more information.

 

Do I need to be screened?

Screening means checking for cancer before you have any symptoms — early detection could save your life. This table summarises whether screening for breast cancer may benefit you. TGD people have a unique set of factors that may affect their risk. Ask your doctor about your personal risk factors and the need for screening.

If you are 50 years or older:

Trans women

If you have been taking gender-affirming hormones (like oestrogen) for five years or more, screening every two years may be of benefit.

If you have taken hormones for less than five years, or have not taken hormones, screening is not recommended.

Trans Men

If you have not had chest surgery, screening every two years is recommended.

There are no clear recommendations for people who have had chest surgery. We suggest talking to your doctor about your individual risk factors including previous surgical and hormone treatment.

If your doctor confirms or you are sure that you have no remaining breast tissue, screening is not possible or necessary.

Gender diverse / non-binary people
 

If you were assigned female at birth and have not had chest surgery, screening is recommended.

There are no clear recommendations for people who have had chest surgery. We suggest talking to your doctor about your individual risk factors including previous surgical and hormone treatment.

If your doctor confirms or you are sure that you have no remaining breast tissue, screening is not possible or necessary. 

If you were assigned male at birth and have been taking hormones (like oestrogen) for 5 years or more, screening every two years may be of benefit.

What will you ask me?

We ask every person who books an appointment the following questions:

  • if they have breast implants.
    This is because we need to allow for a longer appointment time.
  • if they have had breast/chest surgery.
  • if they are taking hormone therapy.
    We ask these  questions because they may affect the appearance of your screening images.

We do not ask questions about gender identity.

 

Where can I have a screen?

You are welcome to attend any of our clinics throughout Victoria. Our Rose Clinic in Melbourne’s CBD provides LGBTI inclusive services, including regular ‘Rainbow Rose’ screening sessions for TGD people.

 

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.

More information

Thorne Harbour Health
Transgender Victoria
DHHS resource Rainbow eQuality 
Rainbow Tick GLHV 
National LGBTI Health Alliance 

A note on terminology: We refer to breast/chest screening and surgery. This is because we recognise that many trans men and gender diverse people do not identify as having breasts, feel ambivalent about having breasts and prefer the term “chest” on its own.

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.