Questions to Ask Your Doctor if You’re Thinking of Enrolling in a Clinical Trial
If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, be sure to ask your doctor, “Is there a clinical trial that I can join?” If your doctor offers you a trial, here are some questions you may want to ask.
Questions about the Trial
- What is the purpose of the trial?
- Why do the researchers 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?
- How will the doctor know if the treatment is working?
- How will I be told about the trial’s results?
- How long do I have to make up my mind about joining this trial?
- Who can I speak with about questions I have during and after the trial?
- Who will be in charge of my care?
- Is there someone I can talk to who has been in the trial?
Questions about Risks and Benefits
- What are the possible side effects or risks of the new treatment?
- What are the possible benefits?
- How do the possible risks and benefits of this trial compare to those of the standard treatment?
Questions about Your Rights
- How will my health information be kept private?
- What happens if I decide to leave the trial?
Questions about Costs
- Will I have to pay for any of the treatments or tests?
- What costs will my health insurance cover?
- Who pays if I’m injured in the trial?
- Who can help answer any questions from my insurance company?
Questions about 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 stay in the hospital during the clinical trial? If so, how often and for how long?
- Will I have to travel long distances?
- Will I have check-ups after the trial?
Questions about 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?
- What will happen to my cancer without treatment?