A First-of-Its-Kind Study Reveals Insights
A groundbreaking study led by UC San Francisco has shed light on the risk of prostate cancer in transgender women, a topic previously understudied. The research, which is the largest of its kind, reveals that transgender women are still at risk for prostate cancer post-gender-affirming surgery, albeit at a lower rate than cisgender males.
HCN Medical Memo
This study serves as a crucial reminder that transgender women, like cisgender men, are at risk for prostate cancer. It underscores the need for tailored screening approaches and increased awareness among healthcare providers about this risk, especially given the complexities and potential disparities in healthcare for transgender individuals.
- The study estimates the risk of prostate cancer in transgender women to be about 14 cases per 10,000 people, based on 22 years of data from the Veterans Affairs Health System.
- Farnoosh Nik-Ahd, MD, the study’s lead author, emphasized that this research is a crucial step in reshaping clinicians’ understanding of prostate cancer risk in transgender women.
- The study stratified 155 confirmed transgender women with prostate cancer according to their estrogen usage: 116 had never used estrogen, 17 had once used but stopped, and 22 were actively on estrogen.
- The median age of diagnosis was 61, with 88% of the patients being white and just 8% being Black, indicating potential disparities.
“What we know about prostate cancer to date is almost exclusively based on cisgender men. This is an important first step in reshaping how clinicians think about prostate cancer in transgender women.”
– Farnoosh Nik-Ahd, MD, Study’s Lead Author, Urology Resident at UCSF
- The rate of prostate cancer in transgender women was found to be lower than in cisgender males, who have 33 cases annually per 10,000.
- The study suggests that transgender women on estrogen may experience delayed diagnoses, possibly due to factors like less PSA screening, stigma, and lack of awareness.
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