(HealthDay News) — After the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented in 2014, more Hispanic women received breast cancer treatment and enrolled in clinical trials at a California cancer center, according to a study presented at the Ninth American Association for Cancer Research Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held from Sept. 25 to 28 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Researchers compared the number of Hispanic women with newly diagnosed breast cancer who received care at the Moores Cancer Center before and after the implementation of the ACA. The study team focused on women treated between January 2010 and December 2013, and compared them to women treated between January 2014 and December 2015. The investigators also looked at how many Hispanic women volunteered to participate in breast cancer treatment clinical trials before and after the health-reform law took effect.

Before the legislation was passed, Hispanic women represented 10.1 percent of the Moores Cancer Center breast cancer patient population. After the ACA, that number rose to 16.0 percent in 2015, the researchers found. And, more Hispanic women volunteered to participate in clinical trials after the ACA took effect. Before the health law was implemented, Hispanic women represented 11.7 percent of women in a multicenter clinical trial of first-line chemotherapy. After ACA implementation, the trial was 22.2 percent Hispanic women. There was also a six-fold increase in the number of Spanish-speaking women in the clinical trial.

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“Our study shows that with the implementation of the ACA in California, our cancer center’s Hispanic breast cancer patient population increased significantly,” Chloe Lalonde, a clinical research coordinator at the University of California, San Diego, Moores Cancer Center during the study, said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research. “We also observed an increase in the proportion of Hispanic women who consented to be part of a national clinical trial, including a substantial increase in Spanish-speaking patients.”

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