Author(s): Anderson B, MarshallLucette S
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Abstract It is well documented that prostate cancer presents a significant health problem for middle-aged and elderly men in the UK, with further evidence suggesting that the disease is more prevalent in men of African and Afro-Caribbean (AAC) ethnicity. There is also evidence that these men are diagnosed much later and that the disease is more aggressive than in Caucasian men. AIM: To explore AAC men's experiences of prostate cancer and their understanding of its associated risks. The purpose was to gain an insight from these men's perspectives and ascertain whether a more focused health promotion strategy, and specific UK-based research, was needed in this area. METHOD: A purposive sample of seven AAC men was recruited from a hospital trust's patient list after gaining approval from a research ethics committee. In-depth face-to-face interviews were carried out and the transcripts analysed thematically. FINDINGS: The four main themes that emerged were: disease-prompted awareness, checking up as a necessary evil, defining and constructing factors influencing prostate cancer screening uptake, and appraising perceived myths about prostate cancer through personal beliefs. CONCLUSIONS: Among this group of AAC men, socioeconomic status, such as education and professional background, were factors that influenced their level of awareness of prostate cancer and prompted their decisions to seek help. However, it is evident from these men's perspectives that a more specific health education strategy that promotes early detection and management, targeting AAC men, would help in demystifying prostate cancer and encourage them to seek help earlier. Further research studies and health education in prominent social outlets are recommended in increasing AAC men's awareness of prostate cancer and its associated risks.
This article was published in Br J Nurs
and referenced in Arts and Social Sciences Journal