What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Taking part in a clinical trial is a personal decision. Without clinical trials and research studies we wouldn't have the treatments we have now. Thousands of people volunteer every year to take part in these trials. But you have to decide if it's right for you.
If you find a trial that could be suitable for you, find out as much as you can about it. Each trial is different, but these are some of the potential advantages and disadvantages.
- You might be ale to have have newer and more effective treatments that aren't available outside the trial.
- You may have more regular check-ups, tests and support from doctors and nurses than usual - some people find this very reassuring.
- You will be helping to improve future cancer treatment for others.
- You may feel you're doing something positive about your health and taking an active role in your treatment and recovery.
- You may have more frequent testing as well as treatment, which might be inconvenient. This can go on for a long time. Some people also find this makes them worry more about their cancer.
- You might not know in advance about all the possible side effects - the researchers themselves might not know them all yet.
- If the trial is randomised you won't get a choice about which treatment you have.
- If the trial is blinded, you won't know which treatment you are getting.
- The new treatment may turn out to be no better than the existing treatment.
- There is the risk that the new treatment may not help you, even if it helps others.
Whether you decide to take part in a trial or not, you should receive the highest standard of care and support available. Even if you don't get the new treatment, you will still have the best treatment currently available.