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Men with advanced prostate cancer described “living with bodily problems” in terms of cyclical movements between being well and being ill

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Q What are the meanings of living with bodily problems as narrated by men with advanced metastatic prostate cancer?


Qualitative interviews.




18 men with hormone refractory prostate cancer and skeletal metastases were recruited from 3 healthcare units, a surgical/urological department and a department for advanced palliative home care at a community hospital, and an oncology department at a university hospital. Most men (78%) were >65 years of age; median time from prostate cancer diagnosis was 42 months.


Men participated in conversational interviews that lasted 35–97 minutes and began with the question “Could you tell me about an ordinary day in your present situation?” All men mentioned bodily problems during the interviews, and the interviewer probed to further explore the experiences and meanings of living with these problems. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach, moving back and forth among naïve understanding, structural analysis, and comprehensive understanding.


4 interwoven themes were constructed to represent the meanings of “living with bodily problems:” being well and being ill (states of being) and losing …

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  • For correspondence: MrO Lindqvist, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. olav.lindqvist{at}

  • Sources of funding: Lion’s Cancer Research Foundation and Swedish Cancer Society.