Cervical cancer charity issues life-saving smear test advice for trans men and non-binary people with cervixes
New smear test information for trans men and non-binary people has been launched this week by leading cervical cancer charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
People with cervixes between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for smear tests – which help prevent cervical cancer – on the NHS.
Going to a smear test can be daunting for anyone. But, as Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust says in its new information pack for healthcare professionals, trans and non-binary people “may face personal and systematic barriers to accessing routine cervical screening, as well as discrimination because of their gender identity”.
The comprehensive guidance is aimed at trans men and non-binary people with cervixes who need smear tests, with additional resources for healthcare professionals about the specific barriers people in this community face and tips on supporting them through screening.
“It is impossible to understate the importance of the sample taker and other staff, especially your personal relationship with the patient, in overcoming these barriers,” Jo’s Trust says. “You may be the difference between someone feeling able to go to cervical screening or not attending.”
In its information pack for trans men and non-binary people with cervixes, the charity explains the process of going to a cervical screening (smear test) appointment, what to do if you are registered male with your GP but have a cervix and need a smear test, and points people to other organisations that offer trans-specific healthcare.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust issued the new information for trans men and non-binary people in the wake of increasingly toxic public commentary about which genders need cervical cancer screening, with anti-trans campaigners wrongly insisting that “only females get cervical cancer” – a claim that was elevated by Labour MP Rosie Duffield.
“This information is specifically for trans men and/or non-binary people with a cervix,” Jo’s Trust said in a tweet as it launched the new information. “We do not use the word woman in this piece of work simply because it does not apply when talking to this community.”
The charity uses the word woman elsewhere on its website.
We want everyone who is at risk of developing cervical cancer to be able to get the information and support they need. ?⬇️ pic.twitter.com/fzoSOherpQ
— Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust (@JoTrust) September 7, 2020