Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

This Test Could Change How You Transition

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

This Test Could Change How You Transition

Article excerpt

Trans people need to be evaluated for BRCA genes. Here's why.

A study unveiled at the 36th Annual National Society of Genetic Counselors suggests transgender individuals should be aware of their family history of breast cancer and consider getting tested for the BRCA gene mutations before they make decisions about medical interventions.

Having an elevated risk of breast or ovarian cancer could impact when trans men and women choose to start hormone treatments, as well as which gender confirming surgeries to undergo.

Lead author of several case studies, Rosalba Sacca, a genetic counselor from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, argued in a written statement, "Some healthcare providers are afraid to ask relevant medical questions of their transgender patients because they fear it may be offensive. But awareness and testing are important because they may impact their decisions."

Mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have been shown to increase cisgender women's risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and so doctors recommend that cis women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer undergo genetic testing to see if they have the mutation. …

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