Archive for For Transgender

The Incidence of Ovarian Cancer In Transgender Individuals
(reviewed January 2013)
Joleen Krupa is a writer based in California state who works for the website Radiation Therapy Schools.

The incidence of ovarian cancer among transgender individuals must be closely monitored and aggressively treated if the cancer is detected in that population. Transgender individuals who have undergone an operation changing their sex from female to male are facing the additional obstacle of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a serious condition formerly confined just to women’s health. This is a particularly difficult situation for the affected individuals, as ovarian cancer is generally only diagnosed as part of a woman’s annual wellness exam and PAP-smear.

While generally men do not have these “female” tests, men who still have female reproductive organs must take steps to safeguard their health. An individual must realize and accept that any health risks associated with the birth gender are still threats.

This condition is a pernicious one in women generally due to its asymptomatic nature. There are usually no presenting symptoms to indicate the existence of the disease which would prompt the affected individual to seek treatment, or even well-woman health care. The transgender population as a whole must have its consciousness raised to make it more alert to the risk of developing this form of cancer. Early detection of this form of cancer provides the sufferer more treatment options and should be pursued.

Transgender people are not prone to keep up with common wellness screens associated with their birth gender. This reluctance often prevents those individuals from detecting ovarian cancer in transgender individuals. As ovarian cancer is common in the female population as a whole, ovarian cancer in transgender individuals must be tested for and aggressively diagnosed to protect members of that population who are at risk.

Ovarian cancer in transgender individuals has proven difficult to diagnose due to the lack of readily-available diagnostic tests for that population. Any societal stigma which may challenge transgender people may prevent that population from engaging in life-saving diagnostic tests which could provide for early detection and treatment of the condition.

Absence of an active support system in the transgender community for individuals diagnosed with ovarian cancer is a further impediment to providing diagnostic services and care in the event that such disease is found. The transgender community as a whole must rally behind its members with such a serious diagnosis and must oversee the availability of treatment and support.

The transgender community must see to it that there are viable treatment options available to members of the community. Ovarian cancer in transgender individuals must be fought head-on by community members and their medical support network. Access to proper care must not be denied simply due to any stigma associated with the sufferers. Availability of diagnostic and treatment centers must exist for incidents of ovarian cancer in transgender individuals in order that this disease may be eradicated as is being attempted for other ovarian cancer survivors.

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LGBT Cultural Competency

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LGBT Cultural Competency is critical for helping Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Bisexual cancer patients. Contact us at or at 212-673-4920 for more information on how you can be LGBT Culturally Competent.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just issued new rules for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating hospitals that protect patients’ right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay, including a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that “Basic human rights—such as your ability to choose your own support system in a time of need—must not be checked at the door of America’s hospitals”. Sebelius also said that “Today’s rules help give ‘full and equal’ rights to all of us to choose whom we want by our bedside when we are sick, and override any objection by a hospital or staffer who may disagree with us for any non-clinical reason.”

The new rules follow from an

In an April 15, 2010 Presidential Memorandum President Obama tasked HHS with developing standards for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating hospitals (including critical access hospitals) that would require them to respect the right of all patients to choose who may visit them when they are an inpatient of a hospital.

This memo came from an advocacy effort by Malecare’s The LGBT Cancer Project-Out With Cancer and several of our partner LGBT health organizations, The LGBT organizations working with Jackson Health System on this effort included the Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth, CenterLink, Equality Florida, Florida Together, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Lambda Legal, Miami Workers’ Center, Pride Center at Equality Park, SAVE Dade, and the Transgender Equality Rights Initiative.

The President’s memorandum instructed HHS to develop rules that would prohibit hospitals from denying visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. It also directed that the rules take into account the need for a hospital to restrict visitation in medically appropriate circumstances.

A key provision of the rules specifies that all visitors chosen by the patient (or his or her representative) must be able to enjoy “full and equal” visitation privileges consistent with the wishes of the patient (or his or her representative).

Among other things, the rules impose new requirements on hospitals to explain to all patients their right to choose who may visit them during their inpatient stay, regardless of whether the visitor is a family member, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), or other type of visitor, as well as their right to withdraw such consent to visitation at any time.

More information about the rules is available at the CMS website.

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In an 8/2/10 broadcast, FOX59 News in Indianapolis reported on the claims by a transgender patient that she was ridiculed and refused treatment by staff at Ball Memorial Hospital. Advocacy groups have filed complaints against the hospital saying that the patient,  Erin Vaught, was “…inhumanely treated, dehumanized, and disrespected.”

Earlier this year The LGBT Cancer Project – Out With Cancer worked with several organizations to make the policies of the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami more inclusive of the needs of the LGBT community.

Information: For the FOX59 broadcast visit

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Cancer Disparities:
Breast Cancer:
· There are no studies of the incidence of breast cancer in transsexual or transgender
individuals. Read More→

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Robert Eads is a transgender man with cervical cancer. And, Southern Comfort is a wonderful documentary about the last year of Eads’ life. Eads holds on to his life long enough to attend Southern Comfort, an annual convention for transgender individuals, held in Ravinia, Georgia. This convention is where Eads met his “chosen family.”The beauty of the movie lies not in the tragedy of Eads` death or with the injustice he was forced to tolerate, but with the humor, strength and perseverance with which he lived his life.  Southern Comfort” is an independent film directed, produced and edited by Kate Davis in 2001.

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