BreastScreen Victoria’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and accessible cancer screening has been recognised with a Rainbow Tick.
The organisation’s BreastScreen Coordination Unit received the Rainbow Tick.
The tick recognises the provision of inclusive and progressive services for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria and Quality Innovation Performance developed the tick.
This makes BreastScreen Victoria the first screening program in Australia recognised by the national accreditation program.
BreastScreen Victoria CEO Ms Vicki Pridmore said achieving Rainbow Tick accreditation was the culmination of many years’ work.
“During that time, we learned to better understand the needs of LGBTI people, create new policies and train BreastScreen Coordination Unit staff.
“We recognise that LGBTI people in our target demographic are under-screened and face barriers to screening.
“Our staff have been working with the community and organisations such as Transgender Victoria and Thorne Harbour Health to better understand and remove any barriers that may prevent any LGBTI people from accessing our services.”
Older lesbian and bisexual women underscreened
Research through La Trobe University found that older lesbian and bisexual women are an under-screened group for breast and cervical cancer.
These women are also significantly more likely to be high risk drinkers and heavy smokers.
Research also indicates that hormone therapy increases breast cancer risk.
However there is limited evidence about breast cancer risk for transgender women and men.
Dignity and respect
Ms Pridmore said accreditation also reassures LGBTI staff working in the Coordination Unit that co-workers will treat them with dignity and respect, no matter how they identify.
“This accreditation is an important step that will drive ongoing quality improvement throughout the organisation.
“We will continue to work with our clinics and screening services throughout Victoria to be LGBTI inclusive, and hope that achieving Rainbow Tick accreditation will encourage other organisations in their development of inclusive services.”
BreastScreen Victoria targets people aged 50-74.
Above all else, early detection offers the best chance of successful treatment and recovery.
So, everyone in a risk group should think about a breast screen.
Victorians had more than 260,700 breast screens in 2017/18.
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