Studies of promising new or experimental treatments in patients are known as clinical trials. There are some risks to participating in clinical trials. No one involved in the study knows in advance whether the treatment will work or exactly what side effects will occur. (Keep in mind, though, that even standard treatments have side effects.) Depending on various factors, you may decide that a clinical trial will be beneficial in your case.
To find out more about clinical trials, ask your cancer care team. Among the questions you should ask are:
• What is the purpose of the study?
• What kinds of tests and treatments does the study involve?
• What does this treatment do?
• What is likely to happen in my case with, or without, this new research treatment?
• What are my other choices and their advantages and disadvantages?
• How could the study affect my daily life?
• What side effects can I expect from the study? Can the side effects be controlled?
• Will I have to be hospitalized? If so, how often and for how long?
• Will the study cost me anything? Will any of the treatment be free?
• If I am harmed as a result of the research, what treatment would I be entitled to?
• What type of long-term follow-up care is part of the study?
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