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A Cancer Center’s Approach to Engaging African American Men About Cancer: The Men’s Fellowship Breakfast, Southeastern Michigan, 2008–2014
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  • Description:
    Background

    Despite disproportionate rates of cancer morbidity and mortality among African American men, few community-based efforts have been developed and sustained to educate African American men about cancer. The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center implemented a series of breakfasts to improve cancer awareness, screening, and education among African American men. This article describes the rationale for and history of the community intervention.

    Community Context

    The 21 breakfasts were held from 2008 through mid-2014 in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ypsilanti ranks below Michigan and the nation on most socioeconomic indicators, although most residents are high school graduates (88% in Ypsilanti and 96.5% in Ann Arbor). African American men in Ypsilanti have higher death rates for diseases associated with poor diet and inadequate physical activity compared with Ypsilanti whites and general populations in Michigan and the nation.

    Methods

    We conducted a multicomponent qualitative process evaluation including staff meetings, conversations with participants, and focus groups. We collected 425 post-event surveys to evaluate the breakfasts quantitatively.

    Outcomes

    Participants were African American (85%), were aged 51 to 70 years (54%), had health insurance (89%), and had some college education (38%). Fifty-three percent of participants reported interest in the breakfast topics including nutrition; 46%, prostate cancer; 34%, colorectal cancer, and 32%, pain management; 62% reported willingness to participate in a clinical trial.

    Interpretation

    African American men are interested in learning about health and are willing to attend a health-focused breakfast series. The Men’s Fellowship Breakfast is a promising strategy for bringing men together to discuss cancer screening and risk reduction.

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