Research suggests that long-term use of hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, may increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
If you are aged 50-74 and you’ve been on hormones for 5+ years, it is recommended that you get routinely screened for breast cancer. That means getting a mammogram every 2 years after you turn 50. You can book your a free mammogram via BreastScreen NSW or your doctor.
For trans women who are not on hormones or have been on hormones for less than 5 years, BreastScreen NSW doesn’t recommend regular screenings.
Breast implants are not a barrier to having a screening mammogram. The radiographer will use special techniques to get a clear x-ray of the breast tissue surrounding the implant. People with implants may need a few more x-rays at the appointment than people without implants. Modern screening technology ensures this exposure is minimal and the benefits of having a screening mammogram to find breast cancer early far outweigh any possible risks from radiation.
Your radiographer will use specialised techniques to minimise the amount of compression applied to your implants. There is a very small chance that the mammogram could break up scar tissue that has grown around your implant. If you are concerned about this, please talk to your doctor.
Let your screening service provider know that you have implants when you book your appointment and remind them that you have implants at your appointment. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about breast screening with implants.
Note that BreastScreen NSW uses electoral role and Medicare details to send out screening invitations to people aged 50-74. If you are registered as “male” on the electoral role or Medicare, you will not automatically receive your invitation to be screened. You will need to be proactive and get in touch with your doctor or BreastScreen NSW if you’re aged 50-74 and are on long-term hormones.
If you are aged 50-74 and have not had top surgery, you should talk with your doctor about being screened regularly. Anyone with breast tissue over the age of 50 is at a higher risk of breast cancer. Even though this can be difficult, talk to your doctor about screening.
If you have had top surgery talk to your doctor about your risk with respect to the type of mastectomy and the amount of tissue remaining. You will also need to consider hormone use (if this applies to you) and family history of breast and ovarian cancer.
Note that BreastScreen NSW uses the electoral role and Medicare details to send out screening invitations to people aged 50-74. If you are registered as “female” on the electoral role or with Medicare, you will automatically receive an invitation to be screened at BreastScreen NSW. This may no longer be relevant to you. We recommend talking to your doctor about your risks and screening options. You can contact BreastScreen NSW on 13 20 50 if you would like to stop receiving invitations.
Non-binary and Gender Diverse Individuals
If you are aged 50-74, were assigned female at birth and have not had top surgery, you need to have routine mammograms. Speak to your doctor about your risk with respect to hormone use, whether you’ve had top surgery, family history of breast or ovarian cancer and to discuss your screening options.
If you are aged 50-74, were assigned male at birth and have been on hormones such as oestrogen or progesterone for 5+ years, you need to be screened every 2 years. Book your mammogram via your doctor or BreastScreen NSW.
The genders, bodies & relationships passport
The LGBTI National Health Alliance have created The Genders, Bodies & Relationships Passport which is a tool to support clear communication between people and organisations on topics related to their genders, bodies, and relationships. The Passport is a multipurpose tool designed to promote the best possible care for people who have historically faced mistreatment or exclusion on the basis of their genders and bodies. Click here to order your Gender Passport.
Who is BreastScreen NSw for?
BreastScreen NSW services are for female identifying people who have breast tissue. This includes trans and cis women. At this time, BreastScreen NSW are unable to see trans masculine people or trans men who have breast tissue. BreastScreen NSW welcomes discussion around eligibility for screening. However, for trans male, trans masc or non-binary people over 50, we strongly recommend finding a doctor who understands you, so you can discuss your personal risks of breast cancer and your screening options.
Check out ANZPATH for trans-friendly health providers in NSW.