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Affordable care alone may not be enough to help Latinos overcome cancer care barriers
Date:3/5/2013

A combination of financial, cultural and communication barriers plays a role in preventing underserved Latino men with prostate cancer from accessing the care and treatment they need, according to a new study by researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing.

The study, "Barriers to Prostate Cancer Care: Affordable Care Is Not Enough," is published in the March issue of the peer-reviewed journal Qualitative Health Research.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Latino men. Additionally, Latino men are more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage disease than non-Hispanic white men.

"We found that an array of obstacles compromise access and frequently result in negative outcomes," said Sally L. Maliski, associate dean of academic affairs at the UCLA School of Nursing and senior author of the study. "Sadly, these obstacles disproportionately affect underserved individuals and require a new focus on not only adequate health care coverage but also on the array of hurdles that limit patient access."

The UCLA study looked at Latino men who were enrolled in Improving Access, Counseling and Treatment for Californians With Prostate Cancer (IMPACT), a state-funded public assistance program. The analysis revealed barriers throughout the entire prostate cancercare process, including screening, treatment and follow-up care.

Among the key findings:

Financial hardship

Low socioeconomic status was commonly cited by the Latino men in the study as the primary impediment to care. The inability to afford medical insurance not only made it difficult to access care but also intensified the gravity of the prostate cancer diagnosis, leaving many participants feeling hopeless.

Participants often had difficulty understanding state- or county-based insurance policies, and this resulted in denied claims, loss of coverage or
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Contact: Laura Perry
lperry@sonnet.ucla.edu
310-794-4022
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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