Information for trans and gender diverse people
This page provides screening information for trans and gender diverse people. BreastScreen NSW is committed to ensuring that its services are inclusive and accessible for all people.
Everyone has breast tissue, regardless of their gender identity. We understand that not everyone identifies with having ‘breasts’. The non-gendered term ‘breast’ is used to refer to the tissue affected by breast cancer (breast tissue).
What are the risk factors for breast cancer?
The risk factors for developing breast cancer include:
- Personal and genetic factors (age and gender)
- Reproductive (giving birth decreases breast cancer risk)
- Lifestyle and environmental factors (e.g. smoking and drinking behaviours)
- Medical history and medications.
Trans and gender diverse people can also experience a unique set of factors that may affect their risk.
Having breast implants does not increase the risk of breast cancer. For more details, see our fact sheet on Breast Implants and Breast Screening.
For more information on the risk factors of breast cancer please visit the Cancer Australia website.
Early detection increases survival
If detected early, breast cancer can be a very treatable disease with 98% survival rate. The best way to detect breast cancer early in cis women aged 50 – 74 is by having a mammogram. BreastScreen NSW recommends cis women in this age group have a mammogram every two years.
Do trans and gender diverse people need a breast screen?
The below table outlines whether screening for breast cancer is recommended for you:
A trans woman is a female who was presumed to be male at birth.
If you have been using gender-affirming hormones for five or more years, breast screening is recommended every two years from the age of 50 to 74.
If you have been using gender-affirming hormones for less than five years, or have not used gender affirming hormones at all, breast screening is not recommended.
A trans man is a male who was presumed to be female at birth.
If you have not had gender affirming chest surgery, screening every two years is recommended from age 50 to 74.
If you have had gender affirming chest surgery (partial or double mastectomy), we suggest talking to your doctor about your individual breast cancer risk factors. These may include previous surgeries, hormone treatment, personal risk factors and family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
A cisgender man is a male who was presumed to be male at birth.
Cisgender men do develop breast cancer but it is far less common. Regular breast screening is not provided by BreastScreen NSW for cisgender men. If you have any concerns or notice any changes in your breast tissue, see your doctor immediately.
A cisgender woman is a female who was presumed to be female at birth.
Breast screening is recommended every two years, from age 50 to 74.
Apart from mammograms (if recommended for you), it’s important to regularly check your breasts/chest for any changes.
For information on self-checking, visit: Signs and symptoms
Getting to know the normal look and feel of your breasts/chest is really important so that you can identify any unusual changes. To check for changes, look at and feel your breasts/chest regularly. If you notice any unusual breast/chest changes, you should see your doctor immediately rather than visit BreastScreen NSW.
It is recommended you maintain an ongoing conversation with your doctor about your personal risk factors and need for screening.
You may also want to explore the following frequently asked questions:
- Where can I get my screening mammogram?
- How do I book an appointment?
- What happens at a mammogram appointment?
- What will you ask me?
The Our United Front website (delivered by ACON in partnership with BreastScreen NSW) contains further information and resources that may be of help to the trans and gender diverse community.
Find more information on breast screening for trans and gender diverse people.
If you have any questions or suggestions to improve this information or our services, please call 13 20 50 or email CINSW‑BreastScreenNSW@health.nsw.gov.au
- Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/, based on November 2018 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2019. Table 4.13, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/results_merged/topic_survival.pdf
- AIHW & NBCC (National Breast Cancer Centre) 2007. Breast cancer survival by size and nodal status. Cancer series no. 39 Cat. no. CAN34. Canberra: AIHW, p. viii, 10.
- University of California - San Francisco, Transgender Care and Treatment Guidelines, Screening for breast cancer in transgender women, section 5: Frequency of screening, http://www.transhealth.ucsf.edu/trans?page=guidelines-breast-cancer-women
- University of California - San Francisco, Transgender Care and Treatment Guidelines, Breast cancer screening in transgender men, http://www.transhealth.ucsf.edu/trans?page=guidelines-breast-cancer-men
- Cancer Australia Website, https://breastcancerinmen.canceraustralia.gov.au/