African-American Couples Face More Challenges With Prostate Cancer

June 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

The incidence of prostate cancer is higher for African-Americans than any other racial or ethnic group. It means if you are a Blackman, then you have a higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The challenges of this disease do not stop at the affected individuals but also extends to the immediate families. For most African-American couples, prostate cancer brings about more emotional challenges that could make it difficult dealing with the disease.

Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center of Florida reechoed this fact in a study they published in the Journal of Cancer Education recently. The following is an extract that revealed this study on how African-American Families are facing the challenge of having to deal with prostate cancer:

A recent study suggests that African-American couples affected by the trials of prostate cancer face emotional challenges that increase the burden of combating the disease. Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center of Florida published the study in the Journal of Cancer Education, which focused primarily on African-American men and how their families fared while dealing with cancer.

“African-Americans continue to experience higher morbidity and mortality rates from prostate cancer and lower survival rates when compared to men of other ethnic and racial groups,” said study leader Brian M. Rivers, Ph.D., M.P.H. Rivers and his research team uncovered several key factors that may contribute to lower prostate cancer survivor rates amongst Black families. Tumor biology, lack of insurance coverage, lack of prostate cancer knowledge, and inadequate communication between the patient’s family and doctors are just a few items said to have detrimental impact.

“Prostate cancer treatment not only impacts the survivor, but also the primary caregiver and family members,” Rivers added. “Our aim was to examine the role of sociocultural factors on the psychosocial impact among African-American prostate cancer survivors. Little has been documented on how African-American prostate cancer survivors respond and cope with physical and psychosocial outcomes.”

The Moffitt Cancer Center study used twelve couples who were recruited as part of a cancer registry maintained by the National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center. The couples were interviewed with a focus on how the disease had become burdensome in their lives. Researchers found, for example, that prostate cancer patients’ chances of survival vary depending on their social networks.

“Several findings from this study point to the need for culturally appropriate interventions that include the role and impact of spirituality, better information for couples regarding symptoms and symptom management, and more effective communication paths,” researchers said. Source.


The above study revealed once again the effects of prostate cancer on African-Americans. This group is the most vulnerable than other racial groups.

That said, it becomes important that African-Americans resolve to deal with this common problem by embracing better information, communication with one another, support, and going for the best diagnostic and treatment methods.

Moreover, prostate cancer will no longer be burdensome if proper social networks or interactions are established.

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