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Purpose of the research: Penile cancer is a rare but highly treatable condition. Whilst over 80% survive for over five years, treatment can have a significant impact on quality of life. There has been little research conducted to date on men's experiences of treatment for penile cancer. The Patients Experiences of Penile Cancer study (PEPC) aimed to redress this shortfall by exploring men's experiences of surgical treatment for penile cancer. Methods and sample: The study used a narrative history design in which data were collected using one-on-one semi-structured interviews. Maximum variation sampling was used to acquire the widest possible range of experiences. Twenty-seven interviews of around one hour were conducted with men with an average age of 63 years at diagnosis (range=41-82). The data were analysed using constant comparison analysis. Key results: The physical impact of surgery was inter-connected with broader events in the lives of the men experiencing treatment. These experiences cover urinary function, sexual function and sexual relationships, healing and recovery, masculinity, mental well-being, coping and support. Conclusion: A key area for the development of care is to devise and evaluate procedures for ensuring that men are well-informed about the extent and potential consequences of their treatment. Men's experiences of penile cancer surgery will be informed by a complex web interlaced with their broader lives, making it difficult for health professionals to judge how surgery will impact on a men presenting to them. Further research is required to ascertain the most appropriate strategies for rehabilitation of men experiencing penile cancer surgery. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


European Journal of Oncology Nursing

Publication Date





661 - 667