Experiences of Men who Commit to Romantic Relationships with Women Under Fifty Post Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: A Qualitative Study

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


This qualitative study examined the experiences of men who commit to romantic relationships with women under 50, post breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Twelve men from throughout the United States, who were dating these women for at least six months, participated in semi-structured interviews. The data were analyzed using Moustaka's Transcendental Phenomenological approach. Findings focused on initial disclosure timing, previous experience/knowledge about the cancer, initial reactions and concerns, acceptance of the cancer history, focusing on love/connection, respecting and admiring the survivor, and the ongoing impact of cancer on the relationship. The men seemed to experience dating a survivor with acceptance, understanding that though the cancer continues to be a part of their lives, it does not seem to be the focus of their lives or of the relationship. Clinical implications are discussed, highlighting the systemic effect that breast cancer may have on a couple even after treatment is complete. Limitations and future research are examined.



breast cancer, dating after breast cancer, men dating survivors, transcendental phenomenology