Screening for trans and non-binary people

Screening for cancer can help find abnormal cells at an early stage and in some cases, it can prevent cancer from developing altogether.
The early detection of cancer is incredibly important, it can save lives!

In the UK, there are 3 cancer screening programmes:

  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Bowel Cancer Screening
  • Breast Cancer Screening

There are practical steps you can take to reduce your risk of cancer, these include:

Don’t smoke

Lead an active lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight. If you choose to drink alcohol, follow recommended guidelines.

Be safe in the sun

For more information about reducing your risk of cancer visit the Cancer Research UK website.

Bowel Cancer Screening

This aims to detect abnormal cells at an early stage. Bowel cancer is also called colorectal cancer. It affects any gender in the large bowel which is made up of the colon and rectum.

Most bowel cancers develop from pre cancerous growths, called polyps. But not all polyps develop into cancer. If your doctor finds any polyps, they can remove them to prevent them becoming cancerous.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer.

If you are of any gender, 60+ and live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you will receive a bowel screening invitation every 2 years till the age of 75 (in Scotland invitations start at the age of 50).

For further information about bowel screening visit the Bowel Cancer UK website.

Breast Cancer Screening

This helps to find breast cancer at an early stage. Screening is open to anyone aged 50-70 who has breasts (with naturally occurring oestrogen or oestrogen hormone therapy). As well as:

  • Cis-gendered women, trans men & non binary people assigned female at birth who haven’t had an operation to remove their breasts.
  • Trans women & non-binary people assigned male at birth who have taken feminising hormones.

If you’re registered as female with your GP you’ll automatically receive an invitation for breast screening.

If you’re registered as a male with your GP and haven’t had an operation to remove your breasts you won’t automatically receive an invitation. However, if you want to be screened, you can contact your GP who will arrange this.

For more information about breast screening for trans & non-binary people visit the Cancer Research UK website.

Cervical Cancer Screening

This aims to detect abnormal cells in the cervix that could develop into cancer. Screening is open to anyone with a cervix aged 25-64.

Invitations for cervical screenings are sent out automatically. If you’re registered with your GP as male or a non-binary person, you may not receive one.

If you haven’t received one, are 25+, have a cervix and want to be screened, contact your GP who will be able to arrange this.

Cervical screenings may raise a number of worries and concerns for you as a trans man or non-binary person.

Below are links to sources of cervical screening related information and support for trans men and non-binary people:

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website

The Eve Appeal website

Cancer Research UK website

Spotting cancer early saves lives

If you’ve had unexplained blood that doesn’t come from an obvious injury (such as blood in your poo or wee), an unexplained lump, weight loss which feels significant to you or an unexplained pain that lasts three weeks or more, it could be a sign of cancer.

It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable, so just speak to your GP.

For further information or advice please don’t hesitate to contact your GP or any of the below organisations list below who will either be able to assist you further or point you in the right direction for your query.


Be: Trans Support and Community

The Eve Appeal 

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Cancer Research UK

Bowel Cancer UK