chapter  10
17 Pages

Prostate cancer and body shame with special regard to sexual functioning


Many people can experience a diagnosis of cancer as a stigmatisation in itself (Lazare, 1986). For men with prostate cancer, there is not only fear and anxiety about the disorder, but feelings of stigmatisation and shame can be compounded by the location of the cancer in areas associated with ‘lower or dirtier’ parts of the body, the loss of sexual functioning and the loss of capacity to regulate basic body functions (e.g., urination). Moreover, treatment for prostate cancer can lead to sexual dysfunction (Paterson, 2000; Schover, 1993) that can be experienced as a form of body shame (see also McKee & Gott, Chapter 3, this volume).