A Study on the Receptivity to Cancer Prevention Among African American Muslims
Samantha R. Obuobi, Dr. Fatimah Jackson

The purpose of this study was to develop a policy analysis and brief to support the development of a National Institutes of Health funding application for a project that would be the first to examine the attitudes and behaviors of adult ( ≤40 years of age) male and female African American (AA), Afro-Caribbean (AC), and first and second generation immigrant West/West Central African (W/WCA) Muslims, regarding cancer prevention. The objective of the proposed research was to identify culturally and religiously-tailored interventions that would most likely promote the use of cancer screening among these populations. Using an interdisciplinary social science approach, we were able to present for the first time to our knowledge, data that allows for policy inference concerning the effects of Islamic religious affiliation on cancer-prevention attitudes and practices in African descended men at who are at risk for prostate cancer. This study addressed the high rates of cancerrelated morbidity and mortality, especially breast and prostate cancer, among peoples of African descent and Muslim faith in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. There is currently no existing scientific research on the influence of ethnicity and religion among AA, AC, W/WCA communities and willingness to participate in cancer prevention programs, including their acceptance of clinical screening. This study involved conducting structured interviews with members of these ethnic and religious groups. The findings indicated that despite any cultural differences between AA, AC and W/WCA Muslims, the idea of upholding and following Islamic beliefs were commonly of higher priority for participants. The results from these interviews suggest that overall, participants will benefit the most from general health education as well as education on cancer prevention. Moreover, 100% of the subjects agreed to participate in cancer screening if it was necessary or recommended by a trustworthy, qualified and preferably Muslim healthcare provider. Implications for the proposed NIH funded research included culturally and religiously competent care preferably by a Muslim doctor, in addition to health education and population-based screening having the greatest potential to produce sustainable anti-cancer behaviors.

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