Perceptions of prostate cancer in Black African and Black Caribbean men: A systematic review of the literature - Abstract

Supportive Cancer Care Research Team, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College, London, UK.


Prostate cancer (PC) is common and affects Black African and Caribbean men disproportionately more than White men. It is known that PC awareness is low in these groups, but knowledge is lacking about other factors that may deter Black men from seeking information about, or getting tested for, PC. The aim of this review was to appraise research on knowledge and perceptions of PC among Black men.

Four medical and social science databases were systematically searched, and reference lists of relevant papers were hand searched. Non-English publications were excluded. Qualitative findings were synthesised using comparative thematic analysis to which quantitative findings were integrated.

Thirteen qualitative studies and 20 cross-sectional surveys were included. All except two were conducted in the USA. The analysis identified individual, cultural and social factors likely to impact on Black men's awareness of, and willingness to be tested for, PC. Black men's awareness of personal risk of PC varied greatly between studies. Misunderstandings regarding methods of diagnosis and treatment were widespread. PC testing and treatment were perceived as a threat to men's sense of masculinity. Mistrust of the health-care system, limited access to health care and lack of trusting relationships with health professionals were also prominent.

The factors impacting on Black men's awareness of PC may contribute to late PC diagnosis and should be taken into account when communicating with Black men seeking prostate care. Further, the review demonstrated a need for high-quality studies in countries other than the USA to determine the relevance of the review findings for Black men in other nations and continents.

Written by:
Pedersen VH, Armes J, Ream E.   Are you the author?

Reference: Psychooncology. 2011 Sep 9. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1002/pon.2043

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21905156 Prostate Cancer Section