Addressing Cultural Issues Will Improve Prostate Cancer Awareness

By Petrina Smith
Wednesday, 10 September, 2014

PCFA_h1Img_2Information on prostate cancer needs to be better communicated to men who have English as a second language, according to new research launched by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA).
PCFA’s 2014 Community Attitudes Survey, entitled Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities and Prostate Cancer , focused on the attitudes and experiences toward prostate cancer of men whose first language is Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Italian, or Vietnamese. These are the five most commonly spoken languages (after English) in Australia. PCFA’s 2013 Communities Attitudes Survey respondents indicated that these cultural groups would benefit from resources in languages other than English.
The survey of over 250 Australian men, aged forty and over, representing the five groups showed one in two of the respondents (48%) believed prostate cancer to be the most single important health issue facing men. Even though participants recognised prostate cancer as an important issue only 43% had undergone any kind of test or assessment within the last 12 months.
The majority (55%) of respondents also indicated that there was not enough information about the disease available in their preferred language.
PCFA has long suspected that cultural issues and sensitivities around prostate cancer might discourage men from talking about prostate cancer with certain people (i.e. female healthcare professionals, friends or family members).The survey also revealed that men in these groups prefer to discuss prostate cancer with their (preferably male) healthcare professional (34%), rather than raising the issue with family and friends.
Italian speakers were shown to be the most knowledgeable about prostate cancer, followed by Vietnamese men.
Associate Professor Anthony Lowe, PCFA Chief Executive Officer, says the survey has confirmed that there is a need within the community for resources that are targeted to non-English speakers in order to ensure that messages about testing and treatment are being heard.
“It is great to see that prostate cancer is being taken seriously by these groups. However there is a lot more that we can be doing to expand the information available for men affected by the disease within culturally and linguistically diverse communities,” said Associate Professor Lowe.
“This year we have had the opportunity to understand a bit more about the cultural implications of the disease for men in these communities. It is clear that for men in the identified cultural groups have strong male support and prefer easily digestible resources to help facilitate important health discussions.”
“It is now a priority for us to do all we can to improve the information and resources that are currently available to men in these community groups.”
PCFA is also launching  their latest prostate cancer resources which have been translated in Italian, Greek, Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese in Sydney. For a copy of the report and the newly translated resources visit
The PCFA recognises the support of Tolmar Australia in the PCFA’s 2014 Community Attitudes Survey.

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