A video designed to educate Black men about prostate cancer resulted in 97% of surveyed participants acknowledging that Black men are at a higher risk of this disease and 93% saying they would get screened, according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2024, held April 5-10.

Black men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the United States with 184.2 new cases per 100,000 people compared to white men with 111.5 new cases per 100,000 people, according to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. They are also 2.2 times more likely to die from prostate cancer compared to white men, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

“Research shows that this disparity may be attributed to reduced access to care and endorsement of myths,” said Mallorie C. Jones, MA, project manager, Division of General Internal Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who presented the study. “Our study aimed to address these barriers by providing education from trustworthy and reliable sources in settings that were easily accessible to members of the community.”

Jones and her colleagues developed a 10-minute video that included a conversation between a urologist and a Black pastor in the Philadelphia area, who is a prostate cancer survivor. The conversation covered facts about prostate cancer and screening information. It debunked common myths such as how prostate cancer is an old man’s disease, that if someone is diagnosed then they will die, and that someone doesn’t need to get screened if they feel fine or if the disease does not run in their family. The video was then tested within local Black communities at faith-based, union, and occupational spaces.

A snippet of the video was shared during the presentation and can be viewed online.

Fourteen events were held between April and December 2023. To encourage participants to watch the video and take pre- and post-questionnaires, the events included giveaways from the Philadelphia Flyers and the University of Pennsylvania, a $10 gift card following completion of the post-questionnaire, and when feasible, the option to get a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening by an on-site phlebotomist.

A total of 619 men aged 40 and above watched the video and completed the questionaries. Nearly half (47%) were Black men and 98% had at least a high school diploma. After watching the video, the majority (97%) correctly identified that Black men are more likely to develop and die from prostate cancer than any other men compared to 74% at baseline, 98% said the information provided by the video was useful, 97% said the information was credible, and 94% said the video could help increase awareness about prostate cancer among Black men.

Further, 93% of men who watched the video expressed interest in getting screened and the majority did so on-site. Jones added that 2.9% did not get screened because 10 participants said they were scheduled or would schedule a screening with their own health care team, and eight had a PSA done recently and were not due for a repeat test.

Participants’ knowledge about prostate cancer increased for five of the 10 questions asked before and after the video. Jones said participants were more aware about prostate cancer being the most common cancer among men, that there are disparities for Black men, how a familial link increases a person’s chance of having the disease, that there are two main screening techniques (PSA and a digital rectal exam), and that Black men over 40 should get screened every year.

No significant increase, however, was seen in questions related to whether getting up to urinate at night was a sign of prostate cancer, if a high-fat diet could decrease chances of developing the disease, if doing one of the screening methods would be enough, and whether early screening would not be able to tell if someone has prostate cancer.

“The length of the video may impact the ability of the participants to retain the entirety of the information,” Jones said. “We plan to amend the video to contain a brief recap to reinforce all of the items that were asked about on the knowledge questionnaire, but with an emphasis on those that did not yield a statistically significant post-video result.”

In addition to working to optimize the video, Jones said they will examine ways to make the information accessible and applicable to Spanish speakers. She and her colleagues also plan to collaborate with more community organizations in 2024 with a focus on those with greater access to Black men, as well as people with perceived environmental and/or occupational predispositions to cancer.

“Not only may this culturally sensitive educational video be a valuable asset when educating diverse groups of men about prostate cancer and prostate cancer screening, but this may also be a useful technique that can be applied to a variety of topics and populations,” Jones said.

Limitations of this study include the inability to generalize the study results to Spanish-speaking men and the absence of a baseline measure for intention to screen. Additionally, some community events yielded low and/or skewed participation pools for certain demographics such as income and education, which could have impacted overall survey responses and outcomes.

The study was funded by a grant from the Flyers Charities. Jones discloses no conflicts of interest.

This news release was published by the American Association for Cancer Research on April 9, 2024.

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