Cancer fatalism among African-Americans: a review of the literature

Nurs Outlook. Jan-Feb 1996;44(1):18-21. doi: 10.1016/s0029-6554(96)80020-0.


Historically, the health status of African-Americans has been significantly lower when compared with the general population. Too often, attempts to explain and understand this occurrence have focused on factors such as poverty, decreased access, under-education, and decreased knowledge of cancer. Despite the providing of screening at reduced costs or educational interventions, the screening rates for African-Americans remains lower than that of the general population. Cancer fatalism is believed to be an additional barrier to participation in screening for this population. Previous research findings can raise the consciousness of nursing professionals about the influence of cancer fatalism. There are no easy solutions, and much additional research is needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / nursing
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Poverty
  • United States