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Genetic and behavioral differences add to prostate cancer disparities
Date:11/28/2007

to understand how to change behavior.

The study is the first to compare cultural knowledge and beliefs among African-American, indigenous West African and West African immigrant men in an attempt to uncover the cultural components of the prostate cancer disparity. According to Odedina, both Nigerian men and West African immigrants to the United States are reported to have a lower incidence of prostate cancer than African-Americans, although some studies conflict regarding the magnitude of this difference.

The survey, conducted by Odedina and her colleagues in the United States and Nigeria, gauged the attitudes of African-American men, Nigerian men, and Nigerian men who have moved to the United States.

We decided to understand prostate cancer health disparities in African-American men by separating environmental and psycho-social factors from genetics, Odedina said. Since the Trans-Atlantic slave trade took so many men from West Africa -- more than a third of slaves came from the Nigeria region, alone -- African-American and West African men have similar genetic backgrounds, but much cultural dissimilarity.

Odedina and her colleagues surveyed 81 African-American men from Orlando, Florida; 121 Nigerian immigrants living in Houston, Texas; and 128 men in Abeokuta, Nigeria. The survey explored cultural beliefs thought to impact cancer survival, such as cancer fatalism, religious coping (the ability to use faith to help manage disease treatment), temporal orientation (a measure of an individuals focus on the past, present or future) and acculturation (the degree to which an individual from a non-dominant culture takes on the behavior and trappings of the dominant culture).

Among their findings, the researchers say that while African-American men may know more about prostate cancer, they are less likely to possess cultural beliefs and values that could improve cancer detection and control. In contrast to Nigerian men, Africa
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Contact: Greg Lester
greg.lester@aacr.org
267-646-0554
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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