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    Young men's understandings of male breast cancer: "pink ribbons" and "war wounds"

    Rabbee, Z and Grogan, S (2016) Young men's understandings of male breast cancer: "pink ribbons" and "war wounds". International Journal of Men's Health, 15 (3). pp. 210-217. ISSN 1933-0278


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    The aim of this small-scale exploratory study was to investigate young men’s understandings of male breast cancer. In-depth semi-structured interviews ranging between one to two hours were conducted with six English-speaking men aged 18–35, recruited through opportunity sampling. Inductive thematic analysis revealed four key themes: association of breast cancer with femininity, reluctance to disclose breast cancer/visit the GP, body image concerns associated with breast cancer and treatment, and gendered identity and disclosure of a breast cancer diagnosis. Men were reluctant to wear a pink ribbon but would be proud to sport a mastectomy scar perceived as a “war wound”. Findings are discussed in relation to the possible psychological and social hurdles facing men diagnosed with breast cancer, and implications for encouraging men to refer to general practice when appropriate.

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