How African American men decide whether or not to get prostate cancer screening

Cancer Nurs. 2009 Mar-Apr;32(2):166-72. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e3181982c6e.


Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the United States and affects African Americans disproportionately when compared to other ethnic groups. There are unclear reasons for this disparity, but several factors may include race, nutrition, family history of cancer, and screening. With early detection of prostate cancer, survival is much better; thus, screening may be helpful, especially for high-risk individuals. Prostate cancer screening continues to be controversial. A paucity of data exists on what prostate cancer screening means to African Americans, particularly in rural areas, and how they make the decision whether or not to undergo prostate cancer screening. This study interviewed 17 African American men to explore how and when they decided about prostate cancer screening. Most of the men (n = 9) said that they had prostate cancer screening. Three themes emerged from the data: (1) these men had information on prostate cancer; (2) family and friends played an important role in the men's decision-making process; and (3) for screening, it was necessary for the men to have a trusting relationship with their healthcare provider. These findings confirm that the decision-making process is not a simple process. The study's results can help healthcare providers understand some of the important decision-making factors in prostate cancer screening for African American men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Black or African American*
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Educational Status
  • Family Relations
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Qualitative Research