Risk of breast cancer in transgender persons—a study of veterans
A study of breast cancer in transgender veterans has identified ten new cases, increasing the total number of published cases in both female-to-male and male-to-female transgender persons. Patient outcomes, use of cross-sex hormones, and recommendations for screening are presented in an article in LGBT Health.
In the article "Breast Cancer in Transgender Veterans: A Ten-Case Series," George R. Brown, MD, Quillen College of Medicine and Mountain Home Veterans Administration Medical Center (Johnson City, TN), reviewed Veterans Health Administration records from 1998-2013 and identified breast cancer cases affecting seven natal females and three natal males. Whereas the natal males had late-stage disease on diagnosis that proved fatal, earlier stage disease with a better prognosis was detected in the natal females.
"Breast cancer in transgender patients is rarely reported, and when it is, it is often in association with hormonal therapy and mentioned as a potential side effect of that therapy, particularly with estrogens," says LGBT Health Editor-in-Chief William Byne, MD, PhD, James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. "Cohorts of transgender and transsexual patients followed prospectively, however, have not led to the detection of an increased incidence relative to the general population. Dr. Brown concludes that screening methods in place for non-transgender persons should be sensitively discussed with transgender persons—whether or not they have utilized hormonal therapy—and routinely provided by their clinicians."