Why Enroll In a Clinical Trial?
There are many reasons why you may choose to volunteer for a clinical trial. First, there is a chance that an experimental treatment will be more effective than "standard" treatment for a specific disease, though it could also be less effective. Second, patients often receive more detailed follow-up care from doctors and health care professionals, who often specialize in the disease (e.g., cancer). Third, patients may want to help scientists and health care professionals learn more about the experimental treatment or test being studied so that others may benefit in the future.
In the past, clinical trials were sometimes seen as a last resort for cancer patients who either had no treatment choices or had exhausted them. Today, many cancer patients choose to volunteer for a clinical trial in order to receive some sort of experimental treatment as their first treatment attempt or as an adjunct to their first treatment attempt.
Whether you're a cancer patient, cancer survivor or at risk for cancer, clinical trials offer you more options. In all cases, participation in a clinical trial is completely voluntary. It is your decision. You may decide to stop participation at any time during the clinical trial. Choosing not to participate in or withdrawing from a clinical trial will not affect your ability to receive regular treatment.
Only you and your doctor can decide if a clinical trial is best for you, but we encourage all patients to ask their doctors if a trial is available and appropriate for them.