A different thing altogether: an idiographic case study of breast cancer in men using interpretative phenomenological analysis
Keywords:qualitative, breast cancer, men, interpretative phenomenological analysis
Background: Around 300 men are diagnosed annually with breast cancer in the UK. In comparison to the wealth of information on breast cancer for women there is paucity of information in the literature regarding the psychological consequences of being a man with breast cancer. Male breast cancer constitutes a unique lived experience for men due to its strong identity as a gender-specific disease.
Methods: A case study was undertaken with a 55 year old man in the early recovery phase of breast cancer. An in-depth semi-structured interview was conducted using an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA, Smith 1996) approach to gain an insight into the participant’s lived experience of breast cancer.
Results: Four superordinate themes emerged from the data: the Impact of the Cancer; Factors that influenced coping; Changing Identity: retaining masculinity despite limitations; and Feeling fortunate and a need for awareness.
Conclusion: Acquiring further information on breast cancer in men allows services to be better positioned to help the recovery process by: offering suitable information, being aware of male psychological distress, increasing patient autonomy, normalising the experience to reduce exclusion, and promoting support outlets.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).