Transgender therapy does not appear to increase risk of breast cancer

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Transgender and transsexual people run no greater risk of breast cancer than the general population, according to an article in the peer-reviewed journal LGBT Health.

"Breast cancer in transgender patients is rarely reported, and when it is, it is often in association with hormonal therapy and mentioned as a potential side effect of that therapy, particularly with estrogens," says LGBT Health Editor-in-Chief William Byne.

But that may not be the case.

"Cohorts of transgender and transsexual patients followed prospectively, however, have not led to the detection of an increased incidence relative to the general population."

The total number of cases in the English literature is small: 10 reported for male-to-female transgender persons and five cases reported for female-to-male transgender persons.

Although cases are rarely reported, experts in transgender healthcare delivery have noted that breast cancer in cross-sex hormones (CSH)-treated patients remains a theoretical risk.

"The concern is partially based on the lack of sufficiently long-duration studies in adequate populations of patients with known CSH treatment regimens," the report says.

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