DOI: 10.1158/1538-7755.disp23-b013 ISSN: 1538-7755

Abstract B013: Unsilenced strength: Survivorship perspectives from Black prostate cancer survivors

Dottington Fullwood, Charles Waldon, Carol Thomas, Mary Ellen Young, Shannon Pressey, Folakemi T. Odedina, Brandon Snipe, Isela Villasenor
  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology


Introduction: The relentless surge of prostate cancer rates is rapidly alarming public health officials, leaving a trail of shattered hopes among Black men in the United States. This toll reduces mortality for this population, the urgent need for effective solutions becomes more apparent. Survivorship care plans (SCPs) emerge as a beacon of hope, holding the potential to transform the provision of care. Within this tool lies the encapsulation of vital cancer-related information, passed from the oncology team to the resilient survivor and their primary care physician. However, despite the unwavering support of national governing bodies, a disheartening reality persists for Black male survivors, who never access these life-saving plans. The study purpose was to identify receipt of SCPs and the preferred communication delivery of health information among Black prostate cancer survivors. Methods: Utilizing a grounded theory approach, our study delved into the experiences of a convenience sample of seven Black male prostate cancer survivors. In-person and telephone-based semi-structured interviews we sought to unravel unique narratives. The research inquiries used open-ended questions (1) knowledge, awareness, and understanding of SCPs; (2) interactions with medical professionals; and (3) preferred methods of communication of healthcare information. Employing a line-by-line descriptive force coding method, we extracted pertinent statements by open and axial coding to generate specific codes to encapsulate information collected from an underserved population. Results: Thorough analysis revealed several distinct themes pertaining to survivorship care plans and preferred communication styles. The relevant findings were a lack of SCPs knowledge, an absence of post-treatment care, the profound influence of faith and family support, and the value of group settings. Despite receiving education on treatment, survivors expressed a sense of being left adrift, as if their medical professional team had failed to provide them with a clear roadmap for their survivorship journey. In the absence of proper guidance, survivors resorted to considering pre-treatment risk assessments as a makeshift substitute for a comprehensive survivorship care plan. Conclusion: The impact of our study’s findings resonates deeply, revealing a startling reality: Black male survivors in our sample possessed a distressing lack of knowledge about the post-treatment phase of survivorship. Instead, they relied on the support of their spouses or fellow survivors with whom they connected during treatment sessions. The removal of government mandates aimed at promoting SCPs likely contributes toward a disheartening knowledge disparities among many Black men, leaving them without clear guidance regarding the crucial phase of aftercare. Armed with this data, we have the opportunity to drive change and enhance the development of culturally tailored, interactive care plans specifically designed to support Black male survivors after they conquer prostate cancer treatment. 

Citation Format: Dottington Fullwood, Charles Waldon, Carol Thomas, Mary Ellen Young, Shannon Pressey, Folakemi T. Odedina, Brandon Snipe, Isela Villasenor. Unsilenced strength: Survivorship perspectives from Black prostate cancer survivors [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 16th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2023 Sep 29-Oct 2;Orlando, FL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2023;32(12 Suppl):Abstract nr B013.

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