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Questions About Clinical Trials to Ask Your Treatment Team

Being on the receiving end of a cancer diagnosis is a life-altering experience and one that takes some time to understand. Once you are ready to consider your treatment options, ask your medical oncologist about clinical trial opportunities for your type and stage of cancer. Keep in mind that participating in a clinical trial is not right for everyone, and not everyone is eligible for a clinical trial. However, considering the possible benefits, clinical trials are worth exploring.

To get the most information possible from your doctor and oncology nurse, bring this list of questions and a pen to write down the answers. Also, it helps to bring along a family member or friend who can help you understand and absorb the information provided by the doctor, nurse, and others involved in your health care.

Here are some questions to ask your medical oncologist, oncology nurse, and the researchers running the clinical trial. The answers to these questions may help you decide if joining a trial is right for you:

What is the purpose of the study?

What are the potential benefits, and are there any foreseeable risks or discomforts?

How long will I be in the study?

How often will I need to visit the clinic/hospital?

What tests will I need?

Is there a chance I will receive a placebo in the study?

Have other people been treated with this drug before in clinical studies?

What were the results?

What medications, treatments and procedures should I avoid while in the study?

Will I continue to see my own personal doctor?

What are my treatment options if I don’t participate in the study?

Will there be any costs to me?

Will I learn of the study results? If so, when?

How many volunteers will participate in the study?

Will my medical records remain confidential?

Who is sponsoring the trial?

When the trial ends, can I continue to receive follow-up care and who will provide it?