Questions to Ask Your Doctor

There are many things to think about when considering enrollment in a cancer prevention or treatment clinical trial. Whether at risk for cancer, or recently diagnosed with cancer, you and your loved ones have many choices for care.  Here are some questions to help you get started when talking to a doctor about your cancer prevention or treatment options through a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored clinical trial.

Understanding the Study

  1. What's the purpose of the clinical trial?
  2. Why do doctors think the approach will work?
  3. How is the safety of participants being checked?
  4. How long will the clinical trial last?

Deciding on Your Participation and Care

  1. What kinds of therapies, tests or procedures will I have during the clinical trial?
  2. Who will be in charge of my care?
  3. Will I be able to see my own doctor?
  4. How could being in the study affect my daily life?
  5. Can I talk with other people who are in the study?

Determining Possible Risks and Benefits

  1. What are the short-term benefits for me?
  2. What are the long-term benefits for me?
  3. What are the short-term risks, such as side effects?
  4. What are possible long-term risks?
  5. How do the risks and benefits of this trial compare with those available through standard care?

Last Updated 9/23/2013

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Cancer Clinical Trials

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NCI Cancer Information Service
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