Factors Associated with Cancer Family History Communication between African American Men and Their Relatives

By Mitchell, Jamie A.; Hawkins, Jaclynn et al. | The Journal of Men's Studies, Spring 2013 | Go to article overview

Factors Associated with Cancer Family History Communication between African American Men and Their Relatives


Mitchell, Jamie A., Hawkins, Jaclynn, Watkins, Daphne C., The Journal of Men's Studies


The American Cancer Society reports that 25 percent of all deaths in the United States are the result of cancer and that nearly one-third of Americans will develop cancer in their lifetime (American Cancer Society [ACS], 2011; Kelly, Shedlosky-Shoemaker, Porter, Remy, DeSimone, & Andrykowski, 2007). Based on data from the ACS, African American men have the highest mortality and poorest survival rates for most cancers among all racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. (ACS). With a death rate 32 percent higher than that of white men for all types of cancer combined, African American men are less likely to be alive at each stage of a cancer diagnosis as well as five years after a cancer diagnosis when compared to their white male counterparts (ACS). While evidence suggests that a range of complex and multi-level social and economic disparities contribute to the disproportionate cancer burden of African American men (ACS), there are also personal and familial factors well-known to affect risk, such as family history of cancer (FHC). This study seeks to extend previous studies on cancer burden among African American men by examining the various socio-demographic, health information, health access, and behavioral health factors associated with the occurrence of FHC communication between African American men and their relatives.

The literature is replete with evidence that FHC alone is a significant risk factor for several cancers including breast, colorectal, and prostate (Acheson, 2011; Shah, Zhu, Palmer, & Wu, 2007; Ziogas et al., 2011). In particular, having a first-degree relative (i.e., parent, sibling, or child) diagnosed with cancer substantially increases an individual's relative risk for the disease compared to the general population (Guttmacher, Collins, & Carmona, 2004; Yoon, Scheuner, Peterson-Oehlke, Gwinn, Faucett, & Khoury, 2002; Ziogas et al.). For example, individuals with a colorectal FHC are two to six times more likely to develop the disease than individuals with no FHC (Ziogas et al.) while men with a first-degree male relative with prostate cancer are more than twice as likely to develop the disease as men without that FHC (Shah et al.). These reports are essential from a population health perspective because it is estimated that more than 22% of individuals in the U.S. have a familial or hereditary predisposition to cancer that may warrant earlier, more frequent, or more sensitive cancer screenings for the purposes of prevention or early detection of malignancies (ACS, 2011; Ziogas et al.).

Collecting FHC information is one of the most efficacious ways of identifying individuals with higher than average cancer risk, yet the success of obtaining such information is met by a number of individual and system-level challenges. In a state-of-the-science report, the National Institutes of Health (NIH, 2009) described evidence of several individual, family, and health-system barriers to the collection, reporting, and use of family health histories for the purposes of prevention and treatment in clinical care (NIH). This NIH report cited the lack of health insurance, low income of patients, lack of time and compensation for physicians, and unfamiliarity with technology and methods for interpreting family history data among physicians as factors impeding family health history use in clinical settings (NIH). This is unfortunate considering that the act of communicating with one's family about FHC and relaying that information to a health provider has implications for earlier than usual preventive interventions, cancer screening frequency, referrals to genetic testing, patient education, and other potentially modified surveillance recommendations that could reduce cancer-related disparities for individuals at moderate to high-risk (Kelly, Sturm, Kemp, Holland, & Ferketich, 2009; Koehly et al., 2009; Murthy et al., 2011).

Though few studies have specifically examined FHC communication between African American men and their health providers and families, one general study on cancer communication in underserved minority communities reported that higher income and increased cancer worry increased the likelihood that participants would talk with their family members and health providers about FHC (Kelly et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Factors Associated with Cancer Family History Communication between African American Men and Their Relatives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.