Our brand new January story is written by Angie Beckles (they/them). Angie is a breast cancer survivor from the UK and shares what it’s like to experience cancer treatment as a non-cis person.
It’s weird, getting breast cancer when you have an ambiguous relationship to your breasts – suddenly you’re thinking about them constantly when you’d managed to largely ignore their existence. I mean, cancer sucks regardless, no doubt about it. But breast cancer is one of those really gendered cancers, and if you’re a person with gender issues anyway, the whole process is very odd.
Many cancers, including breast, are highly gendered. On top of the emotional turmoil that a cancer diagnosis brings, many trans and non-binary people also have to contend with a system that divides cancers into binary categories like “men” and “women”. Healthcare environments are often unwelcoming, systems and processes are designed for non-queer patients and healthcare staff often lack education in the area of affirming care for trans and non-binary patients.
As well as Angie’s blog, we have more resources on Queering Cancer that focus on breast cancer affecting trans and non-binary folk. For example:
- Coming Out as Transgender to Your Breast Cancer Care Team – from Living Beyond Breast Cancer, this offers advice for trans people with breast cancer on making their cancer care team aware of their gender identity and/or transition
- What trans men and nonbinary people need to know about breast cancer – from Clue, this resource summarizes research on testosterone therapy, binding, and mastectomy and provides a list of signs and symptoms to look for, as well as a list of trans-friendly general health resources
Visit QueeringCancer.ca for more!