Cancer Screening in the Transgender Population

A Review of Current Guidelines, Best Practices, and a Proposed Care Model

Joshua Sterling; Maurice M. Garcia


Transl Androl Urol. 2020;9(6):2771-2785. 

In This Article

Cancer Screening Guidelines

It has been shown that early detection of cancer results in improved outcomes.[1,3,4] However, when developing screening guidelines, the benefit of early detection must be balanced with the fact that most people screened will receive no benefit and could potentially be suffer harm. Finding that balance is the reason that guidelines vary in testing frequency and strength of recommendation between different professional organizations. Due to this uncertainty and the inherent risks of these screening procedures open and frequent dialogue between patient and physician is very important in determining what screening protocol is best for an individual.

Large population data sets like, SEER, are used to identify high risk population that would benefit most from screening procedures. Transgender and non-binary individuals are poorly captured in these databases making comparisons between the transgender and general populations and identification of high-risk sub-populations within the transgender community very difficult.[7,18] There are currently very few transgender specific cancer screening recommendations. All the guidelines discussed in this manuscript were designed for cis-gender patients and applied to the transgender community based on small case series.