Exploring prostate cancer experiences among Jordanian Muslim men
Over the last decade, prostate cancer has been the most common cancer among men around the world. This study explores the experiences of this illness among a group of Jordanian Muslim men. The study aims to identify the impacts and challenges these men face throughout their experiences with cancer. Through the exploration, the study also focuses on the effects of these impacts and challenges on the men’s bodies, lives, and their identity, particularly gender. The study used ‘biographical disruption’ and ‘liminality’ theoretical concepts of illness narrative and the works of Connell (2000, 2002, 2005) on gender as a theoretical framework. It adopted a qualitative narrative approach in order to understand this cancer experience among these men. Fifteen Jordanian Muslim men, who had been treated with radiotherapy and hormonal therapy, were recruited, and interviewed to narrate their stories with prostate cancer. Three narrative analytical approaches (thematic, holistic form, and Bamberg’s positioning model) were used and integrated with the study’s theoretical framework for analysing the men’s stories.
Five main key findings resulted from the analysis as follows. First, there is a range of common and specific disruptive impacts and challenges facing these men compared with other men who have similar experiences. Second, there are differing experiences of prostate cancer among these men across the cancer trajectory and over time. Third, the family of the affected men are involved and become a part of this illness experience along with the direct involvement of the healthcare providers with the men. Fourth, there are interactions and influences between the cancer experience and the men’s masculinity. Fifth, the complexity of this experience has an influence on the men’s identity as Jordanian Muslim men. The study, therefore, adds to the existing knowledge about the experience of prostate cancer by understanding how it can be from (Jordanian) Arabic Middle Eastern and Islamic contexts. The study concludes with implications and recommendations for nursing practice, for education, and for illness narrative and narrative research.