Friday, October 27, 2023

University of California San Francisco study examines trans prostate cancer risk for first time

A first-of-its-kind study by UCSF researchers finds that transgender women face an increased risk of prostate cancer.

According to a story by Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle a while back, the peril is "small but meaningful."

The article also cautions that "traditional screening tools may not work well for them, especially if they're taking estrogen for gender-affirming care."

The study, published in the journal JAMA last Saturday, is the first in the United States to look at prostate cancer in transgender women., who were born with male sex organs. The Chronicle story indicates that transgender people are "underrepresented in medical research and…experience worse outcomes than cisgender parents for all kinds of health issues."

Stephen Freedland
Allday's piece quotes Dr. Stephen Freedland, an author of the paper and a urologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, to the effect that "there's a misperception, both by patients and clinicians, the because these are women — they identify as women, they look like women — you don't necessarily think you should check for prostate cancer."

The story also quotes Dr. Farnoosh Nik-Ahd, a University of California San Francisco urologist and the lead author of the paper, as saying, "We're still very much at the beginning of how best to care for this population — and it's a population nation that will probably increase, in terms of the number of people owning identifying as transgender."

Allday's article notes that transgenders "remain a highly vulnerable population, a situation potentially made worse with anti-trans legislation being pushed across the United States that could further limit health care access."

Transgender people, who "are thought to make up less than 1% of the [general] population," the story continues, "have been mostly left out of large studies of all kinds of health issues."

More information about prostate research can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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