Breast Cancer Risk Among Transgender Individuals Undergoing Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy: A Systematic Review [paper]




Brown, Tiffany Nacole

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Introduction: This review addresses the breast cancer risk among transgender individuals undergoing gender-affirming hormone therapy, a crucial but understudied aspect in transgender healthcare. Focusing on gender affirmation, transgender individuals often face healthcare challenges, leading to gaps in broader health concerns like cancer screening. This research, framed by Dorothea Orem's Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory, aims to fill this gap, comparing the incidence of breast cancer in transgender populations to cisgender counterparts. Methods: A thorough search was conducted in MEDLINE Complete, PubMed, and CINAHL Ultimate from 2013 to 2023. Search terms included transgender, trans, breast cancer, malignancy, tumor, gender affirming therapy, hormone therapy. Studies focusing on transgender individuals undergoing hormone therapy were included, with exclusions for non-English articles and those published before 2013. Results: From 681 articles identified, rigorous screening led to eight studies meeting inclusion criteria. These studies offered a comprehensive view of breast cancer incidence in transgender individuals undergoing gender affirming hormone therapy. Notably, transgender women on estrogen therapy had a higher breast cancer incidence compared to cisgender men, yet lower than cisgender women, while transgender men on testosterone therapy showed similar rates to cisgender men. Discussion: The findings suggest a need for personalized breast cancer screening strategies tailored to transgender individuals. The review emphasizes healthcare providers' role in initiating breast health discussions and the importance of adapting clinical guidelines to transgender individuals' unique needs. Acknowledging the current literature's limitations, the review advocates for more research, policy reform, and advocacy to ensure inclusive and affirming healthcare for the transgender population.


An EBP Capstone Project Submitted to St. David’s School of Nursing at Texas State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nursing.


transgender, breast cancer, hormone therapy, risk, disparities


Brown, T. N. (2023). Breast cancer risk among transgender individuals undergoing gender affirming hormone therapy: A systematic review [paper]. St. David's School of Nursing, Texas State University.


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