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Why Should I Participate In A Clinical Trial?
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Why Should I Participate In A Clinical Trial?

As a clinical research nurse I want to get the word out that participating in a clinical trial is generally a win-win opportunity. Let’s explore together the types of research within a clinical trial you may be asked to participate in. The more you understand what is both offered and expected within a clinical trial the more likely it will be that you too will choose to participate.

First I want you to know that I have worked with some of the finest physicians in the world. I have worked with them in one of the most famous cancer centers in the world and I have worked with others at smaller community hospitals. I am here to tell you that the physicians, and the scientists working to cure cancer are some of the most compassionate and committed individuals I know. They work very hard. Their goal is united. They want to give you a longer life and they want you to have a very good quality of life at the same time.

Of course everyone wants their treatment to be successful, but all cancer patients know at some level that success can not always be predicted, especially in later stages of cancer. Every person’s body reacts differently to their cancer. That is one major reason why cancer is so difficult to nail down and eradicate. That being said many good things result from participating in a clinical trial. First and foremost is that you quickly learn that there is a huge team of people who are instantly in your corner. Nurses, Doctors, Lab techs, Therapists, all these folks get to know you very quickly. This group of professionals become your friends. This team becomes your greatest cheerleaders. When considering participation in a trial you may be asked to take part in additional testing and/or be asked to complete a variety of questionnaires. These are usually optional, but my recommendation is that if you are willing to consent to the treatment plan then consenting to these extra provides the full benefit of your participation.

If for some reason you start feeling poorly, the nurses on the trial team are often available more quickly than anyone else. The research nurses need to know immediately if you are having issues of any kind. Again, you will find it is comforting to know that help is always just a phone call away. If you need to be seen by a physician the research nurse can most often get you an appointment quickly.

As time passes and you get to know the research team as well as other patients during your treatment days you will find that you are part of something greater than yourself. So many individuals and families are affected by cancer. Knowing that you are playing a major role in the process of gaining important knowledge, on how to overcome cancer, is a positive experience. You will be proud of yourself. You will know that you are helping others, as others have helped you.

Please ask your doctor about clinical trials in your area. Find out your options and choose a trial that will best fit your situation.

So now I will ask, why not participate in a clinical trial?


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