The survival rate for cancer patients in the United States has increased more than 30% in the past 30 years. Early-stage diagnosis and advancements in treatments are just a couple of the reasons there are far fewer deaths caused by cancer. Clinical trials have played an important role.
So why do less than 5% of cancer patients choose to participate in clinical trials?
Cancer experts say there are some common myths that keep patients from participating. So, let’s look at the facts.
A clinical trial is the careful research that takes place after promising results are seen in the laboratory. In this process, medical professionals closely and carefully conduct a study with a small group of people to make sure the drug or treatment is safe and effective.
Clinical trials are the reason new treatments exist for cancers that were previously considered incurable. Every cancer treatment, drug or therapy that is in place today had its start in a clinical trial.
Let’s debunk the three most common myths about clinical trials together.
The Truth About Clinical Trials
- Myth: You have to give up your usual treatment to join a clinical trial.
Fact: Clinical trials expand treatment options.
Some think of clinical trials as a last resort, but this is absolutely not the case. Patients who participate have the opportunity to receive the most up-to-date treatments available, personalized for their unique conditions. Studies consistently show that their outcomes are at least as good as, if not better than, those of the general patient population receiving standard treatments.
- Myth: Clinical trials aren’t safe.
Fact: Clinical trials are safe.
Patients are carefully monitored by experienced health care professionals at every step of treatment, and all trials are strictly managed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
- Myth: Clinical trials don’t make that big of a difference.
Fact: Clinical trials provide hope.
Every clinical trial improves our understanding of cancer. They help to determine entirely new or better ways of treating particular types of cancer.
Patients who participate in clinical trials play an active role in their cancer care and are part of the incredible discoveries that will one day change the world.
You don’t have to travel far to find a clinical trial in Florida.
Cancer care experts with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute offer patients opportunities to participate in clinical trials at 40 clinic locations close to home throughout Florida. In recent years, the majority of new cancer drugs approved for use in the U.S. were studied in clinical trials with FCS participation, prior to approval.
Learn more about our clinical trials at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute