Suzanna Hopwood

Suzanna is a 72-year-old woman with a trans history. She had full lower surgery in 2013. Suzanna has had treatment for an enlarged prostate.

“I started to have incontinence issues. I had to get up in the middle of the night to urinate and I would get caught out sometimes before reaching the toilet.
 
I went to the GP. I had no qualms about doing this, unlike some women with a trans history, as had been at the practice for years and the GP knows about my trans history. The GP gave me a PSA test and referred me to the hospital for an MRI scan. The PSA test did not show anything wrong with my prostate, but the scan showed that I had an enlarged prostate. It was twice the normal size.
 
I discussed this with my endocrinologist and he suggested that I take finasteride to ease the symptoms. I was also referred to a urologist where I had another scan and he prescribed me two drugs – one to calm an ‘overexcited’ bladder and another to relax my urethra so that I could pass urine more easily.
 
Recently, I went for another scan which only showed mild enlargement and no obvious signs of cancer and the consultant said he wanted to keep an eye on me. He explained that it could be hard to detect prostate cancer in the prostate of a trans woman. He suggested that I have repeat PSA tests and possibly a biopsy due to my age.
 
I feel like I have received the gold standard of care. I know that some health professionals don’t understand the issues with regards to trans women and that education is needed, but my consultant was very thorough and professional. There were no issues like, ‘Why are you here, you are a woman?’
 

There were no issues like, ‘Why are you here, you are a woman?’

I would say to a woman with a trans history to be aware that you have a prostate and that it can cause problems as you get older and so you should ask to see a urologist. If this happens you must ask to see a urologist.”