LGBTQ+ Breast Cancer

If you identify anywhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, VBCF supports you. We have gathered the constantly evolving national and state/local resources in order to help you better understand your breast cancer risk, support you through diagnosis and treatment, and into survivorship. If you come across any other resources that were helpful to you, please reach out to Erin Steigleder, Education Manager, at erin@vbcf.org.

Healthcare Equality Index

Since 2007, the Human Rights Campaign has been working to “evaluate healthcare facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.” See how Virginia hospitals, and other hospitals around the country, are working towards inclusion.

Increased Risk

To be clear, having an LGBTQ+ identity does not increase risk of breast cancer: it is the increased exposure to risk factors and decreased exposure to some protective factors that affects rates of diagnosis. 

I don't have breasts! How can I get breast cancer?

Even if you have had top surgery, there is still a decent amount of breast tissue left behind. Even people who have had complete mastectomies (more comprehensive than top surgery) don’t have a 0% risk of breast cancer. If you have questions about what the cancer screening recommendations are for you, please talk to a healthcare provider you trust.

What about breast implants? Will they give me cancer?

Breast implants do not increase your chance of developing breast cancer. However, recent findings have shown that textured breast implants, not smooth-surface, do increase the chance of developing a certain type of lymphoma.

Virginia Resources

Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center
http://womenscenter.virginia.edu
(434)982-2361

Transgender Clinic at UVA Hospital
teenhealth@virginia.edu
(434)982-0090

Health Brigade
www.healthbrigade.org
(804)358-6343

Coalition for Transgender Rights in VA
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TransRightsVA

Lambda Legal Southern Regional Office
http://www.lambdalegal.org
(404)897-1880

Diversity Richmond
www.diversityrichmond.org
(804)353-8890

Every Woman’s Life
http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/every-womans-life/clients/
1-866-395-4968

LGBT Life Center
https://lgbtlifecenter.org/
(757) 640-0929

National Resources

National LGBT Cancer Network
https://cancer-network.org/

National LGBT Cancer Project
https://lgbtcancer.org/

LGBT Healthlink
http://www.lgbthealthlink.org/

National LGBT Health Education Center
https://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/topic/cancer-and-lgbt-people/