The objective of this report is to provide requested information on perceived need for, and access to, Pap tests and mammograms for trans (transgender, transsexual and transitioned) people in Ontario, using data from the Trans PULSE Project.
Among FTM trans people who had not had hysterectomies, 56.2% reported perceived need for a Pap test in the past year, of whom 83.1% were able to access one. In other words, an estimated 46.7% of FTMs who had not undergone hysterectomies had accessed a Pap test in the past year. Ten FTMs who had not had chest surgery (mastectomy) reported perceived need for a mammogram in the past year, of whom 7 were able to access one. Among MTF trans people who were on estrogen, 12 of 16 participants who perceived need for a mammogram were able to access one.
Trans Ontarians experience barriers to care due to informational and institutional erasure of trans experiences in the healthcare system. Increased provider training and steps to increase accessibility of screening clinics to trans clients may reduce barriers to access. Considering the invisibility of trans people in many health promotion programs and documentation of trans-specific barriers to health services access, continued efforts are warranted to increase awareness within trans communities of the need for cancer screening.
Reference: Scheim A, Bauer G. Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Among Trans Ontarians: A report prepared for the Screening Saves Lives Program of the Canadian Cancer Society. Trans PULSE Project, 4 November, 2013. Downloadable at http://www.transpulseproject.ca