Date of Completion


Embargo Period


Major Advisor

Michelle Judge, Phd, RN

Associate Advisor

Colleen Delaney, Phd, RN

Associate Advisor

Cheryl Beck, Phd, RN

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Background: Men account for approximately 1% of the total population of breast cancer. Men are generally diagnosed at much later stages of breast cancer than women. Evidence shows the earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the outcome.

Objective: The aim of this study is to describe the meanings of men living with breast cancer.

Method: Descriptive phenomenology was the research design used. An international sample of 10 men participated in this study. Men were asked, "Please describe for me all your experience living with breast cancer. Please describe all your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that you wish to share. Any examples of points you are making will be very helpful to describe the lives of men living with breast cancer. Colaizzi's method for data analysis was used to analyze the stories of the 10 men.

Results: Data analysis yielded 80 significant statements and 4 themes: (a) Resilience, (b) Advocacy, (c) Pain, and, (d) Masculinity

Discussion: Although a small number of men have breast cancer compared to the number of women with breast cancer, men have poorer outcomes and survival rates. The impact of men's experience with breast cancer was the motivation for their passion with advocacy and education. Resilience, advocacy, pain, and masculinity were noted to be challenges and successes for men living with breast cancer.