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  • 1 July 2023 to 31 December 2024
  • Project No: 677
  • Funding round: FR6

What is the problem?

In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer (one in eight men), and the second most common cause of male cancer death. The rate is higher amongst Black (African or Caribbean) men with one in four developing prostate cancer. Black men develop prostate cancer at a younger age, are diagnosed at a later disease stage and their cancer is likely to progress faster. In the UK, Black men are 2.5 times more likely to die of prostate cancer compared to White men. There is agreement that genetic factors alone cannot account for the disease burden carried by Black men. Few studies have been conducted on socio- economic and cultural factors, and on patient- healthcare professional relationships; none with primary care staff who deliver prostate cancer screening (a blood test) and who look after patients with prostate cancer during and after their treatment, known as cancer survivorship. Whilst a range of barriers and causes have been identified, we don’t understand their relative importance or how they interact to create inequalities across prostate cancer care. We know even less about how they can be addressed.

We aim to explore what enables Black men to seek prostate cancer screening or engage with prostate cancer healthcare, and what barriers there are, from the perspectives of

  • The public (Black men eligible for screening)
  • Black male prostate cancer patients
  • Healthcare professionals

How will be do this?

We will conduct:

Focus groups (discussion groups) with patients and the public: We will speak with up to 24 Black men with and without (to discuss screening) prostate cancer, in groups of 5-6. We will discuss what helps them (‘facilitators’) to seek prostate cancer screening and engage with primary healthcare services after a prostate cancer diagnosis, and what stops them (‘barriers’).

Interviews with healthcare professionals: We will speak with approximately 20 healthcare professionals looking after patients with prostate cancer, such as primary care clinicians, hospital doctors, and cancer specialist nurses to explore ‘barriers’ and potential ways of over-coming these.

Online workshop: We will invite a range of people who are involved in prostate cancer care and policy making, people with lived experiences, and their carers. At the end of this workshop, we will have exchanged learning from our research, expanded our research network, and agreed on a primary care intervention.

What difference will this make?

This research will help us understand barriers and facilitators faced by black men to engage with prostate cancer care from screening to survivorship. This knowledge can be applied to other diseases where Black men/women carry a disproportionate burden and allows us to plan the development of a primary care intervention to reduce inequalities.

Amount awarded: £105,760

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.