Stigmatization and Male Identity: Norwegian Males’ Experience after Identification as BRCA1/2 Mutation Carriers
In families with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, there is limited knowledge about the reactions of BRCA1/2 mutation positive males. In the present qualitative study, fifteen BRCA1/2 mutation positive men in Norway participated in two successive, in-depth interviews. Seven female partners participated in the second interview. The men reported strong emotional reactions to their positive test results, and they expressed a desire to keep the genetic information private. They considered discussing their test results or health related information with other males as difficult, and they perceived females as their sources of social and emotional support. Interestingly, the second interview revealed important information not communicated during the first interview. The findings of this study contribute to the discussion of whether men who test positive for a BRCA1/2 mutation should receive tailored genetic counseling sessions. Health care providers should be aware of psychological vulnerability in these men, likely stemming from fewer emotional supports in their social networks.
KeywordsMale BRCA1/2 mutation carriers Male genetic stigmatization Men and genetic counseling Breast and ovarian cancer Males in HBOC families
- Act of 5 December No. 100 relating to the application of biotechnology in human medicine etc. http://www.lovdata.com/index-lov.html. Norwegian legislation 2003.
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