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Mammography Screenings Offered for Transgender Men and Women

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, has expanded its LGTBQ+ health care services to include mammography screenings for transgender men and women.

Annual mammography screenings are recommended beginning at age 40 for transgender women who have been taking feminizing hormones for at least five years and transgender men who have not had a mastectomy.

“Transgender women who have been taking gender affirming hormones may be at higher risk for breast cancer than others. They also have a higher prevalence of dense breasts, which is an independent risk factor for breast cancer,” said breast surgeon Deborah Lue, MD, medical director of breast cancer services at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s Steeplechase Cancer Center. “However, many are not getting screened because they feel uncomfortable going to a mammogram provider. Many transgender men also are not getting this important screening.”

“Early detection of breast cancer is very important because this is when it is most curable. Numerous large scale studies have indicated that mammography is the only imaging modality proven to decrease death from breast cancer,” added Anne Moch, MD, a radiologist specializing in women’s imaging who is co-medical director of the Sanofi US Breast Care Program.

Staff at the hospital’s Sanofi US Breast Care Program located in the Steeplechase Cancer Center has been specially trained in the care of LGBTQ+ patients and work collaboratively with the hospital’s PROUD Family Health. PROUD Family Health opened in January 2017 as the first in New Jersey to offer specialized primary care services for the LGBTQ+ community and recently expanded into new space on the hospital’s campus.

“Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset is committed to providing the highest quality care in a supportive environment that treats every patient with respect and dignity,” said Paula Gutierrez, director of diversity and inclusion at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. “Traditional breast cancer risk assessment models do not always fit transgender members and we encourage all members of the LGBTQ+ community to speak with our specialized, medical care providers to determine the screening and prevention measures most appropriate for them.”

The Sanofi US Breast Care Program offers the latest technologies, including 3D mammography, breast ultrasounds, MRI, PET/CT, core breast biopsies, genetic counseling and testing, and breast cancer high risk screening. Additionally, our providers offer the most advanced oncoplastic surgical techniques, targeted therapeutic radiation treatment, and access to national research trials and personalized treatments. The program was recently awarded reaccreditation by the prestigious American College of Surgeons National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The Sanofi US Breast Care Program is one of only 25 in New Jersey to earn the three-year full accreditation following a voluntary on-site survey.

No prescriptions are needed for a screening mammogram. Morning, evening and Saturday appointments are available.

To schedule an appointment for a mammogram at the Sanofi US Breast Care Program, call 908-704-3740. For more information, visit www.rwjbh.org/somerset.