Using CBPR to Extend Prostate Cancer Education, Counseling, and Screening Opportunities to Urban-Dwelling African-Americans

Levi Ross, Georgia Southern University
Jarrett Johnson, Georgia Southern University
Stacy Smallwood, Georgia Southern University
John Luque, Georgia Southern University
Stuart Tedders, Georgia Southern University
Collins Airhihenbuwa, Pennsylvania State University
MAN UP Prostate Cancer Advocates
Terry Alford
Willie Underwood III

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Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is becoming one of the dominant approaches for bringing evidence- and consensus-based cancer prevention and control practices to medically underserved communities. There are many examples of how CBPR has been useful for generating culturally specific solutions for different health issues that affect African-Americans. However, few examples exist in the literature on how the CBPR approach can be applied to address prostate cancer. This paper describes a collaborative process for linking inner-city, African-American men to free prostate cancer education, physician counseling, and screening opportunities (prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and digital rectal examination (DRE)). The site of this community-based participatory project was the city of Buffalo, located in Erie County, New York. The collaborative, community-academic process that is described includes the following: (1) planning and conducting a community needs assessment to contextualize local prostate cancer issues, (2) organizing town and gown event planning, and (3) manipulating aspects of the built environment to build an infrastructure within the community to address disparities in screening opportunities. This paper concludes with a description of lessons learned that can help others develop and implement similar activities in other communities.