Hormone therapy in transgender adults safe: Study

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New York, Feb 25 (IANS) Debunking common fears, US researchers have found no evidence of increase in cancer prevalence or mortality due to hormone therapy in transgender adults.

The findings may help reduce the barriers for transgender individuals to receive medical care.

The researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) conducted a medical literature search and reviewed articles for evidence of medical problems arising from hormone treatment in transgender individuals.

“There was no evidence of a significant increase in cancer risk from transgender hormone treatment despite that being a common fear that is actually listed in most current guidelines,” said corresponding author Joshua Safer, associate professor of medicine and molecular medicine at BUSM.

Transgender is an umbrella term for individuals whose gender identity, gender expression or behaviour does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.

Access to healthcare for transgender individuals is limited, and some providers report concern for the safety of hormone therapy (HT) for transgender individuals.

While increased risk of blood clots was seen among male to female transgender individuals and increased blood counts were seen in female to male transgender individuals, there was little evidence of other serious health concerns from the hormones, the researchers noted.

According to researchers among the concerns raised in treating transgender individuals is the fear that hormone treatment will expose them to risks of disease that might be excessive and unacceptable.

“Although the review uncovers numerous areas in transgender hormone treatment that require more research, it should already help put to rest unnecessary anxiety about hormone safety for transgender individuals,” Safer noted.

The study appeared in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology.

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