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Should I Participate in a Cancer Clinical Trial?

Not sure if you should participate in a cancer clinical trial? Before making your decision, it's smart to become familiar with how the study will be done and to get all your questions answered. Make sure you understand the potential benefits and risks. Clinical trials for cancer do not use placebos, so even if you aren't getting the treatment in question, you will still receive the best treatment currently available.


Why Consider a Clinical Trial for Cancer?

If you are searching for information on cancer clinical trials, it probably means you or someone you know is interested in learning what these are all about. First of all, let's define what a cancer clinical trial is -- this is a medical study done with volunteer participants to test new methods of prevention, screening, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer. A clinical trial is also sometimes called a clinical study.
There are a lot of reasons people may consider participating in a clinical trial for cancer. One of these reasons is to have access to the latest medical advances available, which might not be available otherwise (for instance, for medications that are not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]). These studies are usually the final step in a long process. In most cases, the cancer treatments available today are the result of past clinical studies. 
If you or your loved one needs treatment for cancer, clinical trials may be an option to consider. You don't need to have advanced cancer that is not responding to treatment to take part in a clinical trial. Specifically, these trials are designed for testing new ways to:
  • Prevent cancer
  • Find and diagnose cancer
  • Treat cancer
  • Control symptoms of cancer or side effects from its treatment.
Clinical trials are crucial for helping researchers determine whether new treatments are safe and effective, and whether they work better than the current options available. Participating in a clinical trial helps to improve cancer care, while giving you the option to try some of the newest treatments available.
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