The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) commends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for clarifying that its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program will cover screening for eligible transgender women and men. The CDC deserves credit for consulting medical experts and community members and adopting an approach that is both fair and fact-based.
NCTE Director of Policy Harper Jean Tobin said, “Under the clarified policy, all transgender women who have taken hormones may receive breast cancer screening under the program, subject to other eligibility standards. Transgender men and gender non-conforming people with a female history continue to be eligible for breast and cervical cancer screening, if applicable.”
The CDC’s clarified policy comes in response to an uninsured transgender woman in Colorado who, in October 2013, was denied access to a breast cancer screening under a federal program administered by the CDC. Her provider pointed to an earlier CDC newsletter stating that its program excluded women who are “not genetically female.”
NCTE and the Human Rights Campaign swiftly condemned the provider’s actions and called on the CDC to investigate the case. NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “We applaud the CDC’s clarified policy and urge other public health programs, private insurance plans, and health care providers to adopt similar approaches.”
“The bottom line is that if you have a body part that needs screening, it ought to be screened regardless of your identity,” Keisling said.