Deciding whether or not to participate in a cancer clinical trial is a major healthcare decision. If you qualify, and your doctors recommend it, it’s up to you to decide if it is the best course of action. Before agreeing to participate, talk it over with your RCCA doctors, the researchers and your family and friends.
Understanding the Study
It’s important that you fully understand the study. Find out what the trial is hoping to achieve and research the drugs that you’ll be taking. Get a clear picture of what the procedure of the study will be and what will be expected of you. Some questions to ask might include:
- How is this treatment different than normal protocol treatments?
- Will I be able to find out the results?
- Is there a chance I’ll be taking a placebo?
- What are some possible reasons why I might be removed from the study or why the study might be stopped?
- How long will the clinical trial last?
Committing to Cancer Clinical Trials
Some cancer clinical trials require significant time, travel and money commitments. Depending on which one you choose, you might have to stay in the hospital, drive far distances or even relocate. Make sure the travel commitment is something feasible for you and your family. You’ll also likely have to attend many follow-up appointments and receive frequent tests and scans to see how your body is responding to the treatment.
There may be sponsors who cover some or all of the costs of cancer clinical trials. But, this is not always the case. Make sure you’re prepared to pay the costs and that your health insurance is willing to work with you.
Making the Best Decision for Your Healthcare
Before consenting to a trial, make sure you have thoroughly considered all your options.
- Are there other types of treatment I haven’t tried yet?
- What are the possible risks of the study? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
- What are the possible side effects of the treatment?
- How will this affect my daily life?
- Will my healthcare information be kept confidential?
- Who will be in charge of my care?
- What will happen to my health if I don’t do the study?
High-Quality Treatment at RCCA
After collecting all this information and you feel confident about your decision, let your team know. No matter what path you choose to take, the doctors at RCCA will be there to help. For more information about cancer clinical trials, schedule an appointment.