Prostate cancer is considered the least explored area of research. At the same time, it is regarded as the leading reason for lethal outcomes among men. Specifically, Santillo, V. M., & Lowe (2005) state that “the American Cancer Society anticipated that in 2004, almost 231,000 men in the United State would be diagnosed with prostate cancer and that 29,900 of these men would die of the disease” (p. 10). Lack of research also relates to prostate cancer among sexual minorities, particularly to the case of psychosocial adaptation (Bowen, D. J., & Boehmer, 2007; Street et al., 2010; Siegel et al., 1996). Hence, a great ratio of gay men experiences psychological disorders, including anxiety and depression (Mitteldorf, 2005). Therefore, it is highly important to fill in the research gaps and define the connection between biological and psychosocial disorders, leading to psychological adaptation of male partners of gay patients.
The given study is unique because it sheds light on the least researched area in psychology and social behavior. It does not only create the link between physical disorders and cancer development but also introduces new contextual areas of its research. In particular, there are numerous researches dedicated to the partial assessment of the researched field. For instance, Perlman (2005) focuses on the connection between prostate cancer, social environment, and individual problems to estimate how social background influences the frequency of cancer occurrence. However, the research fails to estimate the psychosocial adjustment of gay men with prostate cancer. Further Rivers et al. (2011) estimate the frequency of prostate cancer among ethnic minorities whereas Siegel et al. (1996) discuss social adjustment of HIV-infected sexual minorities, but ignore the theme of prostate cancer.
Selected articles relating to the analysis of the psychological adaptation of male partners of gay men with prostate cancer are described here:
- Badger et al. (2011), Rivers et al. (2011), Siegel et al. (1996), and Street et al. (2010) focus on psychosocial aspects of adaptation of ethnic and sexual minorities with various disorders. These studies contribute to the analysis of the psychological adaptation of gay men’s partners.
- Bowen and Boehmer (2007) highlight the insufficient information provided on sexual minorities and their adaptation strategies to the social environment, which is especially important in discussing psychological challenges.
- Cornell (2005) provides information on shifts in gay urologist’s perceptions of prostate cancer, which can be analyzed from the perspective of treating gay men with prostate cancer.
- Goldstone (2005), Mitteldorf (2005), and Perlman (2005) explore the psychosocial underpinnings of prostate cancer, as well as define possible interventions.
- Finally, Santillo & Lowe (2005) define the peculiarities of cancer prostate among gay males.
- How does the diagnosis of prostate cancer influence gay men’s male partners in their decisions to continue relations?
- How are self-esteem and self-image altered as a result of diagnosis and side effects of interventions?
Nature of the Study
The research will primarily deal with the quantitative study based on surveys and questionnaires that will allow researchers to define which aspects of social functions influence male partners of gay men with prostate cancer.
Possible Types and Sources of Information
- Problem statements delivered through main points about challenges of prostate cancer diagnosis among gay men and their male partners: the premise, the prospectus, and the dissertation.
- Interviews with the identified group of male partners and their attitude to prostate cancer.
- Surveys of male partners and their reaction to their mates’ diagnosis.
Badger, T. A., Segrin, C., Figueredo, A. J., Harrington, J., Sheppard, K., Passalacqua, S., Pasvogel, A., & Bishop. (2011). Psychosocial Interventions to Improve the Quality of Life in Prostate Cancer Survivors and Their Intimate or Family Partners. Quality Life Resume, 20: 833-844.
Bowen, D. J., & Boehmer, U. (2007). The Lack of Cancer Surveillance Data on Sexual Minorities and Strategies for Change. Cancer Causes Control. 18, 343-349.
Cornell, D. (2005) A Gay Urologist’s Changing Views on Prostate Cancer. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy. 9(1/2), 29-41.
Goldstone, S. E. (2005). The Ups and Downs of Gay Sex after Prostate Cancer Treatment. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy, 9(1/2), 43-55.
Mitteldorf, D. (2005). Psychotherapy with Gay Prostate Cancer Patients. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy. 9(1/2), 57-67.
Perlman, G. (2005). Prostate Cancer, the Group, and Me. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy. 9 (1/2), 69-90.
Rivers, B. M., August, E. M., Gwede, C. K., Hart, A., Donovan, K. A., Pow-Sang, J. M., & Quinn, G. P. (2011). Psychosocial Issues Related to Sexual Functioning among African-American Prostate Cancer Survivors and Their Spouses. Psycho-Oncology, 20, 106-110.
Santillo, V. M., & Lowe, F. C. (2005). Prostate Cancer and the Gay Male. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy. 9 (1/2), 9-27.
Siegel, K., Karus, D., Epstein, J., & Raveis, V. H. (1996). Psychological and Psychosocial Adjustment of HIV-Infected Gay/Bisexual Men: Disease State Comparisons. Journal of Community Psychology, 24(3), 229-243.
Street, A. F., Couper, J. W., Love, A. W., Bloch, S., Kissaned, D. W., & Street B. C. (2010), Psychosocial Adaptation in Female Partners of Men with Prostate Cancer. European Journal of Cancer Care 19, 234-242.