3 Tips When Considering Clinical Trials

Posted on: 9 May 2017

If you are dealing with some sort of illness that is difficult to treat, it may be worth your while to look into clinical trials. In many situations, medical professionals will offer patients these forms of treatment in order to help further medical research, while also attempting to treat their ailment. This situation has varying degrees of risk depending on the severity and nature of the ailment that you are dealing with. Because of this, you need to know everything that you can about participating in clinical trials. Start with these tips below and be sure to ask your doctor for more information. 

#1: Understand the ins and outs of the clinical trial

Prior to moving forward with the clinical trial, be sure you meet with your doctor and understand every matter at hand. You need to understand both the risks and the benefits associated with going through the clinical trial. In terms of clinical trial benefits, you'll have the opportunity to try out groundbreaking treatment without having to foot the bill of what the treatment will cost when released publicly. With this said, you need to be fully aware that you are participating in a treatment that has not been fully approved yet, so there may be side effects that are not yet known. 

#2: Weigh all of your options carefully

The most important thing you can do when going through this process is to know every facet of treatment available to you. For instance, if you have a common form of cancer and would rather go through chemotherapy than the new treatment, this is something you'll need to discuss with your doctor and understand the pros and cons of each situation. Someone with a rare or debilitating disease might opt to go for a clinical trial, with less concern of the risks. Be sure to ask your doctor about the success rate of any clinical trial and research case studies of doctors who have successfully completed the treatment.

#3: Prepare yourself for the process

If you realize that a clinical trial is the avenue you want to take, do everything that you can to prepare yourself for the treatment. Patients are encouraged to keep a diary both on their symptoms and to process the treatment mentally. Continuously research as much as you can to put your mind at ease and to know exactly what you are dealing with. Further, never be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to and take your time when making the decision.

If you follow these three tips, you'll be more informed and empowered when going through clinical trials.