Making decisions

You may have many questions when deciding whether or not to join a study, particularly if it is a clinical trial. As well as talking to your doctor and clinical trials (or research) nurse, it’s recommended that you talk to your family or carer. This is because your involvement may also impact them. Ultimately, though, it’s your decision to participate in research or not.

You shouldn’t feel pressured to take part in research, and you should not be rushed into making any decisions that may affect your health or treatment. Ask your doctor or nurse how much time you have to think about whether or not to join a study. If you’d like to take some time to consider your participation, ask if this is likely to affect your treatment outcomes.

Weighing up the benefits and risks

  • Consider what is most important to you. Some people want to be certain of which treatment they will receive, whereas others prefer the opportunity  to try something new.
  • Think about the possible problems of being in a study and how they might affect your wellbeing and lifestyle. Weigh them up with the possible benefits, such as a possibly longer survival time or not having to experience certain side effects. Everybody’s situation is different – what is right for someone else may not be right for you.
  • Most people diagnosed with cancer who decide to participate in research do so because they want to help improve outcomes for others in the future.

This information was last reviewed in May 2015
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