Can Black Churches Help With Cancer Awareness?

Research has shown that black men are about twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than other racial or ethnic groups are. Yet they’re less likely to get screened for the disease. Why is that? And can “spiritually themed” health interventions help?
That’s what Cheryl Holt will try to find out. Holt, a social psychologist at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, is beginning a four-year study funded by the American Cancer Society to see whether black churchgoers can be trained as “community health advisers,” encouraging their peers to talk about prostate cancer with their doctors and get screened. The idea is to leverage the fact that the church is already recognized as a social network for black men.
As urologist Michael Naslund, who’s also working on the study, adds:

If you can access and educate people who carry weight and carry influence in the African American community, hopefully they can then go out and explain to people the importance of getting this done.

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