global scale, prostate cancer (PCa) is in second place of most common causes of
cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer death among men (1,2).
Approximately 889.000 additive cases and 258.000 new deaths were reported in
2008 alone. Specialists suggest that the global burden of prostate cancer will
rise to 1.7 million additive cases and approximately half a million new deaths
in 2030 (1). These numbers display an expected rapid growth of new cases in the
future, however the incidence and trends of prostate cancer show a huge uneven
distribution globally (2). Most cases are reported from developed western
countries, as chronic diseases are the main health issues these countries face
nowadays (2). Therefore, most research on prostate cancer has been conducted in
western countries such as Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
These countries are more advanced in screening and treatment which results in
lower mortality rates and a higher amount of people under treatment (2).
Current treatment consists of various types of therapy and tools including
surgery, radical prostatectomy (RP), radiation therapy (RT) and hormonal
ablation (HA) (3). These forms of treatment are used in the majority of men
worldwide. Occasionally, a combination of therapies is needed in order to reach
the desired goal within patients. Additional factors contributing to patient’s
choice of treatment include the patient’s condition, preference and risk of
therapy (3). All forms of therapy, mentioned earlier, also contain several to
many side-effects. Literature shows that treatment of prostate cancer causes
sexual, urinary and bowel dysfunction resulting in lower quality of life (4).
However, medical specialists still present these effects merely as side-effects
of treatment instead of life impacting events. Especially, masculine
self-esteem and psychosocial consequences are under highlighted, both
clinically and in available literature in comparison to physical consequences.
Current literature suggests that masculinity might play a major role in
consequences of prostate cancer treatment as men highly value their sexual
function and masculinity is strongly bound to cognitive processes (4).
The concept of hegemonic masculinity
includes a broad spectrum of practices which make domination of men over women
possible and these practices also discern themselves from other masculinities
(5,6). Hegemonic masculinity is defined as the most widely accepted and
normative form of being a man in a society, which is to be placed within a
gender order that assumes men and women are mutually exclusive categories (5).
This strong division of male and female assets has also shaped the identity and
social roles of people within a society. However, the concept of masculinity
does not limit itself to strong discerns between sexes but it also refers to
differences between men and variations of male identities (5,6). Other types of
masculinities are also mentioned in Connell’s study (1995) including complicit
masculinities which refers to men that benefit from other man who comply to hegemonic
masculinities (5) and subordinate masculinity which applies more to homosexual
men and men suffering from diseases (5).