Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Raymond Panas


Researchers have identified higher incidence rates and mortality rates among African American men (AAM) diagnosed with prostate cancer than they have among urban African American men. This quantitative descriptive study was conducted to measure the association between advanced stage and grade of prostate cancer, demographic location, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels over a 5-year period in AAM and European American men (EAM) in rural versus urban communities. This study addressed 4 research questions concerning cancer grade, cancer stage, age, geographic location, PSA level, and the impact that each of these variables had on prostate cancer diagnosis in AAM in the United States. Social cognitive theory was used as a conceptual framework, which was to focus on AAM, and their behavior with prostate cancer diagnosis, in rural versus urban communities. The sample was derived from data collected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) database. The population sample size was greater than 20,000. These data were categorically analyzed using a Chi-square test and a t test. Overall, the results of the study showed that there was a statistical difference in rural versus urban populations between AAM and EAM diagnosed with prostate cancer over a 5-year period, and when comparing AAM with EAM in urban versus rural communities over a 5 year period, there was a significant difference in men diagnosed with prostate cancers as well as a significant change among men annually diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer. Information provided may have implications for positive social change affecting both rural and urban AAM in reducing fear and promoting prostate cancer awareness. This awareness may reduce advanced stage or grade diagnosis in AAM in both rural and urban communities.