Everyday life after a radical prostatectomy – A qualitative study of men under 65 years of age

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose The purpose of this study was to illuminate how men under 65 years of age experience their everyday Life one year or more after a radical prostatectomy for localised prostate cancer. Method Interviews with 19 men aged under 65 were performed 12–18 months after their radical prostatectomy. The interviews were analysed using a thematic content analysis. Results The analysis of the interviews revealed three categories of experiences: ‘Paying a price for survival’, ‘Feeling sidestepped’ and ‘Living with death lurking around the corner’. The side effects of the prostatectomy, such as sexual dysfunction, resulted in a changed self-image with a loss of manliness and reduced self-esteem. The men felt sidestepped and that they did not receive enough support. Prostate cancer was experienced as an embarrassing disease and the men felt their fundamental needs could not be openly discussed. Having cancer was associated with death. Thoughts about death faded away during recovery after the operation, but grew stronger in certain situations and reminded the men about their cancer. Returning to work and to previous activities helped them cope with the thoughts about death. Conclusions Our study suggests a need for improved rehabilitation after a radical prostatectomy, including more structured sexual rehabilitation, and involving the partner. Sharing the experiences of other men who have undergone prostate cancer surgery may also be beneficial.


  • Anne Wennick
  • Ann Kristin Jönsson
  • Ola Bratt
  • Karin Stenzelius
External organisations
  • Malmö University
  • Helsingborg Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Nursing


  • Coping, Daily life, Interview, Prostate neoplasm, Qualitative research, Quality of life, Radical prostatectomy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1
Publication categoryResearch