Evid Based Nurs 6:125 doi:10.1136/ebn.6.4.125
  • Qualitative

Living with untreated localised prostate cancer was seen as living under a dark shadow

 QUESTION: What does it mean to be a patient living with untreated localised prostate cancer (LPC)?


Hermeneutic phenomenology.


Västerbotten, Sweden.


7 men with untreated LPC who were <70 years of age (age range 62–69 y); diagnosed with LPC >3 months but <3 years previously and chose watchful waiting (regular checks of LPC instead of surgery or radiotherapy) as their primary treatment; spoke Swedish; and had no chronic disease that could affect daily life.


Men were individually interviewed in their homes for 45–60 minutes about their feelings and beliefs about LPC. The interviews had 2 foci: “tell me about your experience when the disease was diagnosed,” and “tell me about your experience of being a patient with prostate cancer.” Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and interpreted by naive reading (first interpretation of the text), structural analysis (validation or rejection of the first interpretation), and comprehensive understanding (a “new way” of understanding the text based on findings from previous steps).

Main findings

Living with untreated LPC could be understood as living under a dark shadow that was a threat to life. 4 underlying themes were identified. (1) To be alone with …

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