Questions to Ask

ClinicalTrial QuestionsChoosing a treatment direction, including whether or not to enter into a clinical trial, is a big decision. By being more informed about the options you are considering you will be empowered to make the best decision possible for yourself.

The National Cancer Institute recommends asking the following questions as you are deciding to participate in a clinical trial:

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?

ClinicalTrial GraphQuestions 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? 

Read more about whether a clinical trial is right for you on our blog or join the conversation on the Melanoma > Exchange, our online community focused on melanoma research, clinical trials, and treatment.

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