Should You Try a Clinical Trial?

Education

A clinical trial may offer you new treatment options that improve your quality of life or let you live longer. It follows strict safety guidelines.

If researchers show that the treatment works well and is safe, the FDA may approve it so that it’s available to other people.

There are no guarantees. Even if other people benefit, the treatment may not work for you.

Other concerns include:

  • Side effects or complications
  • You may need to travel to take part.
  • You may not know the type of treatment you get, but researchers will tell you the trial is set up this way before you join.
  • Insurance may not cover all the costs, so check your insurer before you join.
  • It’s not an easy decision. You might consider a clinical trial if the treatment you get now isn’t working, or because you need relief from symptoms or complications.Be sure you have realistic expectations about a clinical trial and that you understand the pros and cons.

    Your doctor can help you work out the pros and cons. He may be able to refer you to some trials. Ask about other treatment options to try first.

    Then ask yourself these questions:

    • How will my daily life be affected?
    • Am I well enough to take part?
    • Are time and money likely to be a problem?
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