- Guide to Breast Cancer
- Take the Breast Cancer Quiz
- Young Women & Breast Cancer
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
- What Is a Clinical Trial?
- What Are the Different Types of Breast Cancer Clinical Trials?
- What Are the Advantages of Participating in a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial?
- What Are the Disadvantages of Participating in a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial?
- Who Looks Out For Me if I Decide to Enroll in Breast Cancer Clinical Trial?
- What Happens if I Join a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial?
- Who Can Participate In a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial?
- What Is it Like To Participate in a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial?
- Important Questions to Ask Before Taking Part in a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial
Quick GuideUnderstanding Cancer: Metastasis, Stages of Cancer, and More
Who Can Participate In a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial?
Every clinical trial is designed to meet a specific set of research criteria. Each study enrolls patients with certain conditions and symptoms. If you fit the guidelines for a trial, you may be able to participate. In some instances, you may be required to undergo certain tests to confirm your acceptance.
What Is it Like To Participate in a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial?
All patients face a new world of medical terms and procedures. Fears and myths of "experimentation" or "being a guinea pig" are common concerns of patients who are thinking about participating in a clinical trial.
Even though there are always going to be fears of the unknown, understanding what is involved in a clinical trial before agreeing to participate can relieve some of your anxieties. Here's some information that may help ease your concerns:
- The personal information gathered about you during the clinical trial will remain confidential and will not be reported with your name attached.
- If at any time during the study your physician feels it is in your best interest to quit, you will be free to do so. This will not in any way affect your future treatment.
- Clinical trial participants typically receive their care in the same places that the standard treatments are given - in clinics or physician's offices.
- Clinical trial participants will be watched closely, and data on their case will be carefully recorded and reviewed.
Important Questions to Ask Before Taking Part in a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial
If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, find out as much as possible about the study before you decide to participate. Here are some important questions to ask:
- What is the purpose of the clinical trial?
- What kinds of tests and treatments does the clinical trial involve? How are these tests given?
- What is likely to happen in my case with, or without, this new research treatment? (Are there standard treatment options for my case, and how does the study compare with them?)
- How could the clinical trial affect my daily life?
- What side effects can I expect from the clinical trial? (Note: There can also be side effects from standard treatments and from the disease itself.)
- How long will the clinical trial last?
- Will the clinical trial require extra time on my part?
- Will I have to be hospitalized? If so, how often and for how long?
- If I agree to withdraw from the clinical trial, will my care be affected? Will I need to change physicians?
Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center.
Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD, WebMD, February 2004.
Portions of this page copyright © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2004