Breaking Down the Breast Cancer Binary

Breaking Down the Breast Cancer Binary

41,400 people die from breast cancer every year. That's 41,400 parents, siblings, and best friends. That's 41,400 lives cut short before they could attend weddings, meet grandchildren, or travel the world. That's 41,400 too many.

Every October, tons of great organizations band together to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We're honored to join them this year with our limited WARRIōR shirt. However, one thing we've noticed about a lot of the conversation around breast cancer is that it tends to center around cis women and erases the experiences of non-binary people, trans people, and cis men - all of whom can suffer from the disease as well.

Trans and Gender-Nonconforming People Are Especially at Risk for Breast Cancer

According to an article from Allure, trans and non-binary folks are less likely to get screened for breast cancer regularly, as the process can often be difficult. Many doctors, especially in the United States are not adequately trained to work with trans and non-binary patients. “The biggest challenge is the attitude toward transgender persons in the medical community. There is a lot of discrimination, and unfortunately that means some trans patients don’t seek care as often — they’re driven away,” says Timothy Cavanaugh, a physician and co-medical director for the transgender health program at Fenway Health in Boston.

However, even if someone gets regularly recommended screenings, the lack of research regarding trans and non-binary people with breast cancer is staggering. Given the state of our current healthcare system in America - not to mention the presidential administration - it's easy to assume there won't be any federal funding for... a while. So, how can you help your trans or non-binary friend if they've been diagnosed with breast cancer?

How to help

  • Go to doctor's appointments with them - and don't be afraid to correct misgendering when using incorrect pronouns.
  • Support them between doctor's appointments as well, particularly if they are struggling with the extremely binary system in which our healthcare system operates
  • Provide them with resources like these from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Susan G. Koman.
  • Continue fighting for a cure for all affected by breast cancer

This October, we're donating 10% of every sale to The Breast Cancer Research Fund to help them find a cure for everyone affected by this disease. You can also purchase our WARRIōR shirt here.




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