The Incidence of Ovarian Cancer In Transgender Individuals
by Joleen Krupa
The incidence of ovarian cancer among transgender individuals must be closely monitored and aggressively treated if the cancer is detected in that population. Transgender individuals who have undergone an operation changing their sex from female to male are facing the additional obstacle of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a serious condition formerly confined just to women’s health. This is a particularly difficult situation for the affected individuals, as ovarian cancer is generally only diagnosed as part of a woman’s annual wellness exam and PAP-smear.
While generally men do not have these “female” tests, men who still have female reproductive organs must take steps to safeguard their health. An individual must realize and accept that any health risks associated with the birth gender are still threats.
This condition is a pernicious one in women generally due to its asymptomatic nature. There are usually no presenting symptoms to indicate the existence of the disease which would prompt the affected individual to seek treatment, or even well-woman health care. The transgender population as a whole must have its consciousness raised to make it more alert to the risk of developing this form of cancer. Early detection of this form of cancer provides the sufferer more treatment options and should be pursued.
Transgender people are not prone to keep up with common wellness screens associated with their birth gender. This reluctance often prevents those individuals from detecting ovarian cancer in transgender individuals. As ovarian cancer is common in the female population as a whole, ovarian cancer in transgender individuals must be tested for and aggressively diagnosed to protect members of that population who are at risk.
Ovarian cancer in transgender individuals has proven difficult to diagnose due to the lack of readily-available diagnostic tests for that population. Any societal stigma which may challenge transgender people may prevent that population from engaging in life-saving diagnostic tests which could provide for early detection and treatment of the condition.
Absence of an active support system in the transgender community for individuals diagnosed with ovarian cancer is a further impediment to providing diagnostic services and care in the event that such disease is found. The transgender community as a whole must rally behind its members with such a serious diagnosis and must oversee the availability of treatment and support.
The transgender community must see to it that there are viable treatment options available to members of the community. Ovarian cancer in transgender individuals must be fought head-on by community members and their medical support network. Access to proper care must not be denied simply due to any stigma associated with the sufferers. Availability of diagnostic and treatment centers must exist for incidents of ovarian cancer in transgender individuals in order that this disease may be eradicated as is being attempted for other ovarian cancer survivors.