Benefits vs. Risks
Because clinical trials are experimental, they have risks as well as benefits. Risks depend on the treatment being studied and the health of the person in the study. A health-care provider will discuss potential risks and side effects before trial enrollment.
Benefits may include the following:
- Playing a more active role in one’s own health care,
- gaining access to new research treatments before they are widely available,
- obtaining expert medical care at leading health care facilities during the trial,
- helping other patients by contributing to medical research,
- and helping scientists find new and better cancer treatments.
Risks may include the following:
- Unpleasant side effects,
- serious side effects,
- and unknown health risks.
Care During Clinical Trials
Patients in clinical trials are closely monitored and may be seen more often by health-care providers and receive feedback on their condition more frequently.
You should learn about the risks and benefits of any clinical trial before you agree to take part in the trial. Talk with your doctor about specific trials you're interested in.