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From a Woman's Perspective: Life as a Partner of a Prostate Cancer Survivor


  • Tanya Tanner CNM, MS, MBA,

  • Michael Galbraith RN, PhD,

  • Laura Hays RN, MS, FPMH-NP-BC

  • Partners of prostate cancer survivors face unique life challenges which substantially affect their relationships and life experiences.

Address correspondence to Tanya Tanner, CNM, MS, MBA, 11164 Cherokee Street, Northglenn, CO 80234. E-mail:


Introduction: The purpose of this analysis was to provide a better understanding of the experiences of partners of prostate cancer survivors. Concerns and needs of women who are partners of prostate cancer survivors are often not acknowledged or addressed in clinical practice. By increasing their awareness of the impact of this situation on women, primary health care providers can offer more holistic, individualized, woman-centered care.

Methods: Qualitative descriptive analyses were conducted on narrative data generated from 2 open-ended questions embedded within 2 longitudinal survey studies that spanned 8 years. Questions were focused on the quality of life and relationships for prostate cancer survivors and their partners.

Results: Results reflect the comprehensive impact of prostate cancer on the lives of the partners of the survivors. Three overarching themes were identified: 1) coping with life in the face of cancer, 2) encountering difficult emotions related to a partner's illness, and 3) learning to live with relationship changes.

Discussion: Women's responses highlight the significant impact of the experience on their lives and illuminate to primary care providers the importance of assessing, recognizing, and appropriately addressing their specific concerns.