How African American Men Decide Whether or Not to Get Prostate Cancer Screening

Randy A. Jones, PhD, RN; Richard Steeves, PhD, RN, FAAN; Ishan Williams, PhD


Cancer Nurs. 2009;32(2):166-172. 

In This Article

Limited Education About Prostate Cancer

During the interviews, limited education about prostate cancer was evident. Most participants, particularly men with less than a high school education, did not know much about prostate cancer and said that they would like more information about the disease. The men desired more information about risks for prostate cancer, screening recommendations, and potential treatment side effects. Several men said that they had heard about prostate cancer and knew that it could affect their sexual capabilities, but they were not aware that African Americans were at high risk of prostate cancer or that they could die of it. For example, when asked the question, "Are there certain ethnic groups that are more prone to get prostate cancer?" one participant with less than a high school graduate education said:

Well, I'm going to be truthful, that's a hard question to answer. I cannot answer that. I think all races should be about the same.

Another participant responded, "No, I would not know that, no, I could not answer that."

Participants who had at least a high school degree had more knowledge of prostate cancer. One of these participants said,

Well, all I know is that if it [prostate cancer] is caught early that it can be prevented, but if it goes outside of the prostate wall, they say, then there is a problem. So, I don't know a whole lot about it other than just if it is caught early, it can be a whole lot better for you, you know... and [also] side effects, that's basically it... they call it impotence... you cannot do 90, I mean it could fool your sex life there you know and you can't build an erection.


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