Risk perceptions among patients and their relatives regarding prostate cancer and its heredity

N. Arar, I. Thompson, M. Sarosdy, M. Harris, D. Shepherd, D. Troyer, R. Plaetke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We performed a qualitative study to examine how prostate cancer (PC) patients and their spouses and relatives take into account family history when considering susceptibility to PC. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants. All interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and content analyzed. Patients' and spouses' views concerning the seriousness of PC were different. Wives viewed PC as a serious disease because it has affected their marital relationships; patients found PC to be less serious because it can be treated. All participants viewed PC as a male disease that can be passed on from fathers to sons. Furthermore, participants were aware of PC clustering in their families. However, this awareness did not encourage (healthy) male relatives to seek early detection. Additionally, participants perceived age, high-fat diet, and less exercise as important risk factors, while socioeconomic status, ethnic origin and a family history of PC were viewed as less important. We recommend that health educators pay special attention to these findings when planning to teach patients, spouses and their relatives about PC, its heredity and risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-185
Number of pages10
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Beliefs
  • Family studies
  • Genetic diseases
  • Prostate cancer
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Cancer Research


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