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Understanding Men’s Experiences With Prostate Cancer Stigma: A Qualitative Study

Richard Buote
Erin Cameron
Ryan Collins
Erin McGowan
ONF 2020, 47(5), 577-585 DOI: 10.1188/20.ONF.577-585

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences and perspectives of men who have had prostate cancer to better understand the effect of prostate cancer and associated stigmas on men in the Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).

Participants & Setting: Eleven men from NL who have had prostate cancer participated in semistructured interviews exploring their perspectives and experiences of prostate cancer and stigma.

Methodologic Approach: A social–ecological framework was used to understand experiences from different domains. Interviews were analyzed using Lichtman’s three Cs approach. Analysis focused on establishing themes of the participants’ lived experience of prostate cancer and related stigma.

Findings: Participants described how emasculating a prostate cancer diagnosis can feel. They identified ways prostate cancer negatively affected their behaviors and sense of self, described coping with the diagnosis and different strategies, and talked about broader system change required to address prostate cancer stigma. Participants expressed a need for additional support from healthcare providers (HCPs).

Implications for Nursing: HCPs, such as oncology nurses, may be able to reduce stigmatization by providing patient navigation, improving information delivery, or providing psychosocial counseling to individuals experiencing feelings of internal or external stigmatization related to prostate cancer.

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