Questions to Ask

If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, here are some questions that can help you decide.

About this trial

  • Why is this trial being done?
  • Why do the doctors who designed the trial believe that the treatment being studied may be better than the one being used now? Why may it not be better?
  • How long will I be in the trial?
  • What kinds of tests and treatments are involved?
  • What are the possible side effects or risks of the new treatment?
  • What are the possible benefits?
  • How will the doctor know if the treatment is working?

Costs

  • Will I have to pay for any of the treatments or tests?
  • What costs will my health insurance cover?

Daily life

  • How could the trial affect my daily life?
  • How often will I have to come to the hospital or clinic?
  • Will I have to travel long distances?

Comparing choices

  • What are my other treatment choices, including standard treatments?
  • How does the treatment I would receive in this trial compare with the other treatment choices?

 

Source: The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov)

Posted 7/17/2007