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 Tips for Talking to Your Doctor

 
  • Take a family member or friend with you. They can give you support, and help you ask questions and write down answers.
  • Plan ahead what to ask - but don't be afraid to ask any new questions that you think of while you're there.
  • Write down your questions ahead of time.
  • Bring a notepad and write down the answers so you can look them over later.
  • Bring a tape recorder and record what is said.

From the National Cancer Institute's Participating in a Trial: Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Talking to Your Doctor about Clinical Trials

If you are wondering whether being in a clinical trial is right for you, you should start by talking to your doctor. Your doctor can help you find a trial that might be a good option for you.

Don't be afraid to bring up clinical trials, even if your doctor has never mentioned them to you. If your doctor is not familiar with clinical trials, ask if there is someone else you can talk to about them.

After You Find a Clinical Trial

Once you have found a clinical trial, you should ask lots of questions. This will help you to decide whether the trial is right for you. You or your doctor can get in touch with the clinical trial team to ask questions you might have. 

You might want to ask questions about things like:

Details about the trial

  • How long will the study last?
  • What will I have to do?
  • Will I have to travel?
  • Will I still be able to take my other medications or treatments?
  • Who will pay for my treatment?

Risks and benefits

  • How could being in this trial help me? 
  • What are the ways that this trial might hurt me?
  • What about side effects?

Cost

  • Will I have to pay for any part of the trial?
  • What will my health insurance cover?
  • Who do I talk to if I have questions about my insurance coverage?
  • Will I have to pay for travel or child care while I’m in the study?

Visit cancer.gov for more questions you might want to ask your doctor about being in a clinical trial.