Let’s Talk About Breast Cancer Awareness

This month we’re talking about breast cancer. This is because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is very significant to us here at Howard Brown Health. It’s important for people of all genders to take care oneself and their body. It’s possible for anyone, including cisgender women, transgender women, cisgender men, transgender men, and nonbinary folks, to have breast cancer. This means if you’re a person with breast tissue, which is just about everyone, it’s important to get to know your own body and check regularly to detect changes.

According to breastcancer.org, as of January 2019, there are more than 3.1 million people in the U.S. with a family history of breast cancer. Additionally, about 85% of breast cancers occur in people who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited traits.

Breast cancer can affect people of all genders. According to Fenway Health, if you’re a trans woman and AFAB nonbinary person over the age of 50 who has been taking HRT for five or more years, you should get an annual mammogram. If you’re a trans man and AFAB nonbinary person who has not had top surgery, you should get mammograms every year after you turn 50. However, if you’re a trans man or AFAB nonbinary person have you have had top surgery, you should still get a breast tissue exam annually. Family history and other risk factors may mean you need to begin annual mammograms earlier.

Unsure when/if you need to get a mammogram? Here are some helpful guidelines to familiarize yourself with:

  • Individuals with a strong family history of pre-menopausal breast cancer should begin getting a yearly mammogram at an age 10 years younger than when your family member was diagnosed.
  • For folks under 50 without a strong history of breast cancer in their family are recommended to take a shared decision-making approach. This means you should discuss with your doctor to identify risk factors and determine an appropriate schedule of screening mammograms. Typically, this would be every 1-2 years beginning at age 40.
  • For people over the age of 50, it is recommended to do a screening mammogram every 1-2 years.

Though we do not currently offer mammograms on site, Howard Brown is still able to assist and point you in the right direction. At our clinics we are able to refer folks for a mammogram including free or low cost services if you do not have insurance. Visit one of our clinics in the Chicagoland area to learn more.

At Howard Brown Health, your health is top priority. We want you to know that our providers are affirming, and that your whole self is taken into consideration. When providers focus on the body and the self, not gender identity, they know to screen anyone with breast tissue. Howard Brown serves anyone that is uninsured or underinsured. It’s really important to diagnose cancer and treat it early.

Make an appointment today, and take care of your health by calling 773.388.1600


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