Oncologist doctor talking with patient

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

If you are considering participating in a cancer clinical trial, it is important to know as much as possible about the study before your agree to participate. The informed consent process should provide answers to many of your questions.  However, you should feel comfortable asking your doctor and research team any other questions you may have and be able to receive further clarification on something that was already explained.

Here are some questions you may want to ask and discuss with your health care team.  Being well informed is very important in the decision making process of whether to participate in a cancer clinical trial.

Regarding The Clinical Trial

  • What is the purpose of the clinical trial?
  • Am I eligible to participate in the trial?
  • Why do researchers feel this new treatment being tested is better than what is already being offered?
  • Has it been tested before?
  • How is it not better than treatment being used now?
  • Where will the trial take place?
  • Can I speak to someone that is currently participating or has already participated in the trial?
  • How long will the trial last?
  • Why should I participate in a cancer clinical trial?
  • Can I stop at any time?

Health and Medical Treatment Considerations

  • What possible side effects, risks and benefits are expected?  How much will it impact my health?
  • What types of test and procedures should I expect during the trial?
  • How often will I need to go to the doctor’s office or hospital?
  • Will I need to be hospitalized? If yes, how often and for how long?
  • Who will be in charge of my care during the trial?  
  • Can I still see my own doctor?
  • How will I know the treatment is working?
  • If I am injured during the trial, what options will I have available to me?
  • Who can I speak to if I have any questions during and after the trial?
  • What are ways my daily life can be affected while on the study?
  • What type of support and resources will my caregivers and I have access to during the trial?

After The Clinical Trial is Completed

  • Will I find out what is learned or discovered after the study is complete?
  • Is there long-term care or follow-up provided after the trial is over?

Cost Considerations

  • Who will cover my costs for participating in the trial?
  • Will my health insurance cover my costs?
  • Will I need to pay for anything?
  • What will I be responsible for or is there anything I will need to do?
  • Will I be reimbursed if I have to pay for anything out of pocket?

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