‘It don't make sense to worry too much’: the experience of prostate cancer in African-Caribbean men in the UK

Authors


Veronica Nanton, Health Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School University of Warwick, Coventry, CV47AL, UK (e-mail: v.nanton@warwick.ac.uk).

Abstract

NANTON V. & DALE J. (2011) European Journal of Cancer Care20, 62–71
‘It don't make sense to worry too much’: the experience of prostate cancer in African-Caribbean men in the UK

The incidence of prostate cancer among African-Caribbean men in the UK is three times that among men from the majority population. Little attention, however, has been given to the perceptions and experiences of treatment and care of men from these communities with prostate cancer. This qualitative study is the first such investigation, situating men's accounts within the context of their personal history and social environment. Using a community-based, snowball sampling method, 16 first generation African-Caribbean men living in Central England were recruited. Similarities and divergence in men's experience were identified through thematic analysis of interview transcripts. Men's responses to their situation were influenced by aspects of migration and historical context as well as culture. While medical treatment was highly valued, common difficulties were compounded by problems of health professional–patient communication, stereotyping and insensitivity of some staff. Lack of coordination between services and agencies adversely affected the well-being of frail men and widowers.

Findings suggest the need for a more proactive approach to giving and eliciting information combined with cultural diversity training. More systematic referral procedures and information exchange between African-Caribbean men with prostate cancer and their general practitioner, hospital, social care and voluntary agencies, churches and community organisations are indicated.

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