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Article
Disclosing a cancer diagnosis to friends and family: a gendered analysis of young men and women’s experiences.
Qualitative Health Research (2009)
  • Shona Hilton
  • Carol Emslie, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Kate Hunt
  • Alison Chapple, University of Oxford
  • Sue Ziebland, University of Oxford
Abstract

Little is known about how young adults disclose their cancer diagnosis to family and friends, and whether there are similarities or differences between men and women. This article compares young adults' experiences of disclosing a cancer diagnosis, drawing on narrative interviews with 37 respondents aged 18 to 34 years. Most respondents were open about their diagnosis, and there were striking similarities in the difficulties that men and women described and in their desire to protect relatives. However, men made up most of the minority of respondents who were more secretive about their diagnosis. Men also made more explicit connections between their gendered identity and disclosure; worries about being perceived differently by peers resulted in some men hiding their diagnosis and others using humor to pre-empt sympathy. These findings are discussed in the context of gender stereotypes of "expressive" women and "stoical" men.

Disciplines
Publication Date
2009
Citation Information
Shona Hilton, Carol Emslie, Kate Hunt, Alison Chapple, et al.. "Disclosing a cancer diagnosis to friends and family: a gendered analysis of young men and women’s experiences." Qualitative Health Research Vol. 19 Iss. 6 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sue_ziebland/4/