Cancer treatment has come a long way in recent decades. It’s more effective than it used to be, but sometimes, certain cancers just don’t respond the way urologists would like. Some patients may be good candidates for clinical trials if they haven’t responded well to established medical interventions. If your doctor suggests that you consider a clinical trial, you should become fully informed before making a decision. The doctor can help you learn the truth behind the misconceptions about clinical trials.
Myth: Clinical trials are too risky and dangerous.
Every medical treatment has the potential for side effects and complications—whether you’re taking aspirin or undergoing surgery. Do talk to your doctor about the potential risks of the clinical trial you’re considering. However, remember that clinical trials are governed by a strict set of oversight requirements. They’re carefully designed, administered, and monitored so that they can be as safe as possible for the participants.
Myth: Cancer patients may be given faux drugs in clinical trials.
Clinical trials do use placebos, which are pills that do not contain an active ingredient. This is done for the purpose of evaluating the true effectiveness of the treatment. However, placebos aren’t generally used for patients with serious illnesses like cancer. Placebos are never used if their use would place a patient at risk. You may also be reassured to know that you can ask in advance if the clinical trial would involve a placebo.
Myth: If I join a clinical trial, I won’t be able to leave for other treatment.
You have the right to direct your own medical care. Even if you sign up for a clinical trial and begin receiving treatment, you can decide to drop out of the study at any time. The researchers may ask for your permission to continue monitoring you for possible long-term effects.
Urology Associates P.C. is committed to giving our patients the advanced care they need to fight their diagnosis. Our Advanced Therapeutics Center administers clinical trials for cancer treatment in Tennessee, and many of the medical interventions used have already been FDA-approved. Call 888-656-0667 to request a consultation with our prostate cancer experts.