Transgender Canadians far less likely to be screened for cancer, raising risk

People who are transgender are significantly less likely to receive cancer screenings than the general population, raising their risk of developing the disease undetected in situations that could have been preventable.

A new study published Wednesday in the journal Canadian Family Physician found that about 33 per cent of eligible transgender patients had been screened for breast cancer, compared to 65 per cent of other eligible patients.

Screening rates for other types of cancer presented similar differences, with transgender patients being about 60 per cent less likely to have been screened for cervical cancer and 50 per cent less likely to have been screened for colorectal cancer, after adjusting for age and other risk factors.

“If they’re not getting screened, they have a higher risk of developing a cancer that we know could be prevented,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Tara Kiran of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, told CTV News in an interview.

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