BreastScreen Victoria encourages eligible LGBTI+ and trans and gender diverse people to “Screen with Pride and get your picture of health.”
LGBTI+ people aged 50-74 are more than twice as likely never to have had a breast screen compared with non-LGBTI+ people in the same age group, according to the Victorian Population Health Survey (2017). Barriers to screening can include previous experiences of discrimination in healthcare, lack of staff knowledge, and fear that they might have to ‘come out’ in the process.
‘Picture of Health’ aims to reassure LGBTI+ community members that BreastScreen Victoria offers a safe, welcoming and inclusive service. To ensure positive screening experiences, we provide clear eligibility guidelines for screening, LGBTI+ inclusive practice training for all staff and have achieved the Rainbow Tick at our Coordination Unit and Mobile Screening Service.
Four community ambassadors, Brenda, Caroline, Ricki, and Deb, share the importance of screening, urge others to check their eligibility, and highlight that a breast screen is one of the most important pictures you’ll ever take.
Brenda, 71, she/her
“Going into my first breast screen, I was a bit anxious about whether I would be respected for who I am. But as it turned out, the radiographer was great. My anxiety evaporated, and I’ve had them regularly every two years since then.”
Caroline, 61, she/her
“I’m a cancer survivor. I wouldn’t have known I had it unless I got breast screened regularly. As a member of the LGBT community, I’ve had a very positive experience with BreastScreen Victoria.”
Ricki, 53, they/them/her
“For people like myself who are transgender, from Stolen Generations and First Nations, accessing health services can be daunting. But the message I want to get out is that breast screening saves lives, and your life matters.”
Deb, 55, she/her
“I’ve had regular breast screens for a few years now. The staff were really lovely, and it certainly felt safe and inclusive. Let’s improve health outcomes for our LGBTIQA+ community.”
For more information, please visit Picture of Health.