Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening in Transgender Patients

Eur Urol. 2023 Jan;83(1):48-54. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2022.09.007. Epub 2022 Nov 4.


Context: Approximately 0.4-1.3% of the worldwide population is transgender. Although the exact prevalence is unknown, there is an increase in open identification as transgender. Among transgender women (TW), the prostate is retained even after gender-affirmation surgery, thus necessitating ongoing screening for prostate cancer (CaP). However, little is known about CaP screening in this population.

Objective: To assess our current understanding of CaP incidence and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in TW.

Evidence acquisition: We performed a nonsystematic narrative review of all PubMed publications through June 2022 according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. Given the limited primary research on this subject, case reports were also included. Studies were reviewed to understand PSA screening practices and reports of CaP in this population, as applicable.

Evidence synthesis: There is no consensus regarding PSA screening in TW from any of the major societies, and TW are largely absent from guidelines. Case report data suggest that TW with CaP may have more aggressive disease, and these cancers may have been pre-existing prior to present before gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) or be castrate-resistant.

Conclusions: We are in the infancy of our understanding of PSA screening in TW. Important avenues for future research include understanding the risks/benefits of PSA screening in TW, how best to mitigate potential negative psychological effects of PSA screening in TW, establishing baseline PSA values for those on GAHT (and determining what values should be considered "elevated"), establishing when to initiate PSA screening for those on GAHT, and establishing the accuracy of biomarkers for those undergoing GAHT.

Patient summary: We examined patterns of prostate cancer screening for transgender women. Little is known about prostate cancer incidence or screening in this population. Additional research is needed to establish guidelines for screening in this population.

Keywords: Prostate cancer; Prostate cancer screening; Transgender; Transgender women.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostate
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Transgender Persons*


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen