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What Men Say About Surviving Prostate Cancer: Complexities Represented in a Decade of Comments

Michael E. Galbraith
Laura Hays
Tanya Tanner
CJON 2012, 16(1), 65-72 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.65-72

The experience of men who have completed cancer treatment and transitioned into survivorship is not well understood; therefore, a qualitative, descriptive, narrative analysis was conducted with open-ended questions that participants responded to annually during the course of a 10-year period. The participants expressed that the experience was complex and three themes were identified: "symptoms," "can't go back," and "needs." Time also emerged as an important concern. Participants indicated that sexual and physical symptoms impacted their entire life and that acknowledgment, information, and help from others were important to their recovery. Returning to baseline functioning was no longer possible; rather, a new normal now existed. The findings will help oncology nurses better understand the experience of being a prostate cancer survivor. The need for long-term interventions with information delivered prior to, during, and beyond the treatment process was identified. Clinical interventions should move toward a more integrated approach that helps men develop their new normal.

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