• culture;
  • cancer;
  • ethnicity;
  • communication;
  • emotional support;
  • social support;
  • spiritual belief;
  • God;
  • Allah

This paper reports the communication aspects of a pilot study, which explored the cancer meanings and experiences of six men with cancer and their significant others from different ethnic groups. A case study design was applied using the principles of phenomenology. In-depth semi-structured individual interviews were conducted in participants’ own homes, in London, UK. This paper will only deal with the communication aspects of the findings.

Ten themes emerged from the comparative analysis of the study's data, with communication as a cross-cutting theme. Further analysis of this theme revealed similarities and differences of the participants’ experiences of communicating with health professionals; families or friends; and God/Allah. In addition, similarities and differences in communicating meanings of cancer in different cultures were revealed. The findings revealed similarities in the way that men from these six cultures communicate with health professionals and their families following a diagnosis of cancer, and differences in how they communicated with God/Allah, which depended on their religious beliefs and practices.