Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

Problem Statement

The Prostate Cancer Screening Program at the Markey Cancer Center co-sponsors prostate cancer screenings with the Prostate Cancer Education Council. All participation, including African-American attendance, has decreased 38% from years 2006 to 2008 and program managers are seeking insight to improve program participation by acquiring knowledge of behavioral and medical characteristics that may influence screening attendance. Because of the higher incidence of prostate cancer in African-American men (ACS, 2008), a specific program goal is also to increase screening attendance for this minority population.

Research Strategy

Questions that assess participant behavior, personal, and family medical history are analyzed to determine specific relevant variables that may influence participation. A general description of the data and participation rates, for new and returning participants, is presented. Variable analysis will be conducted for certain behavioral factors and grouped variable analyses will be conducted for urinary, sexual and testosterone health symptoms. Relevant variables with predict returning participant behaviors.

Major Findings

Personal and family health histories play an important role in participation. Men who consider themselves high risk are more likely to smoke, and returning participant models found that men with these variables are more likely to return. Returning African-American behavior is largely unknown although a small portion of men are suffering from testosterone health symptoms. Sexual health symptoms play an important role in the overall attendance of African-American men. Urinary health symptoms do not play an important role in the attendance of program participants. This might be unfortunate, considering that urinary symptoms are more relevant to prostate cancer than sexual health symptoms. There are no statistically significant differences related to race, but this is a policy problem, given that African-American’s are more likely to have prostate cancer.

Most participants report receiving information about the program via: newspaper, friends and family, and by radio and television. Program managers can use the findings about behavioral and medical factors that affect participation to develop targeted marketing strategies. Marketing avenues that are effective and have not been explored are places of work and wives or significant others.


It is recommended that program managers should focus marketing efforts on men with sexual and testosterone health symptoms, those who believe they are at high risk for prostate cancer to encourage retention. A special marketing effort towards African-Americans is essential in realizing program goals. Program managers should strategize marketing efforts via newspaper, radio, television, and the internet. Different motives underlie decisions to seek or return for screening including: high risk, health consciousness, and pressure from a wife, and marketing initiatives could target all of these. Greater success in attracting returning African-Americans would be relevant and is not, at present, occurring.