Top 3 Things to Know Before Joining a Cancer Clinical Trial

Smiling cancer patient and companionIf your doctor advised that you might benefit from joining a cancer clinical trial, would you do it? More importantly, should you do it?

This is an extremely tough question to answer, but you must decide based on your circumstances, and with the help of your medical care team. To help you decide, here are top three things you need to know about cancer clinical trials:

What Exactly is a Cancer Clinical Trial?

During cancer clinical trials, researchers scientifically and formally test new cancer treatments. The primary goal is to find more effective ways to combat the disease. Trials, such as CNS trials, are composed of several phases, with each one focusing on investigating different elements, such as whether the treatment is effective, what the most appropriate dosage is, etc.

Almost every medication you’ve taken has undergone clinical trials to determine its effectiveness and safety.

Cancer Clinical Trials Come with Benefits and Potential Risks

Clinical trials, whether for cancer or some other diseases, come with plenty of benefits. For one, you’ll receive treatment that is probably more effective and/or safer than what is out there. You’ll likewise get the opportunity to help others by advancing cancer research. Additionally, you’ll receive more attention and monitoring of your disease.

On the other hand, there’s the chance that you might receive treatment that have unknown risks or adverse effects. In addition, if you join a random cancer clinical trial, you probably won’t get to choose which treatment you receive.

Cancer Clinical Trials are Generally Safe

It’s understandable to be wary of undergoing a new and unproven cancer treatment. However, it’s critical to note that new cancer treatments have been extensively studied for a minimum of six years prior to conducting clinical trials. It might take around eight years from the clinical trials until it could be approved for use by the government.

Simply put, if you join a cancer clinical trial, the treatment you’ll be receiving have undergone a rigorous studies and initial testing before it could be tested on you. If you are deciding whether participating in a cancer clinical trial would be fit for you, keep these three things in mind. Additionally, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor questions and weigh the pros and cons with your care team to ensure that you make an informed decision.