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URA Archive
Scholars 2009 - 2010

Michelle Wilson

Michelle Wilson, Visual Arts
“Male Breast Cancer: Three Portraits”
Faculty Mentor: Ms. Calla Thompson
Expected Graduation Date: December 2009

In 2008, according to the National Cancer Institute, men accounted for one percent or 1,990 of all breast cancer cases in the United States. My research will combine documentary photographs of three male breast cancer survivors with their written narratives as a way to record the physical and psychological effects of male breast cancer. Because of the relative rarity of breast cancer in men, some men prolong discussing changes in their bodies with a physician. My research will, through photographic documentation and intimate dialogue with survivors, examine the stigma of male breast cancer, extending the current dialogue that represents it as a female disease. I will produce portraits of shirtless male breast cancer survivors post-surgery, as well as photographs of the subjects involved their daily lives. In addition to acting as a record of three men’s struggles and triumphs, the images combined with written testimonies will convey the importance of awareness and early detection as critical to long term survival.