HRC Blog

CDC Clarifies Guidelines for Transgender Women’s Access to Cancer Early Detection Program

This afternoon the Centers on Disease Control (CDC) published revised guidance clarifying transgender women’s access to lifesaving preventative care under the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program—a program designed to provide cancer screening for low income women. Earlier this fall, a transgender woman was denied access to breast cancer screening under this program, because the CDC excluded transgender women from care based solely because they are transgender.  This policy denied transgender women equal access to cancer screening, placing them at personal risk and generally exacerbating the health disparities and poor health outcomes experienced by the transgender community.  

In response to this policy, HRC in partnership with the National Center for Transgender Equality wrote a letter to CDC Director, Tom Frieden raising this issue and requesting a thoughtful revision to this harmful and exclusionary policy.  Today’s guidance revises this policy and provides that federal funds under this program may be used to provide cancer screening services to transgender women who are taking or who have taken hormones.

HRC applauds HHS’s swift response to this critical issue.  To learn more about the NBCCEDP and if you qualify visit: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/

Today’s guidance is available here.

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