When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my oncologist offered me the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial study of the chemotherapy I would need. Learn About Clinical Studies – ClinicalTrials.gov Initially I wasn’t interested; dealing with a cancer diagnosis was stressful, and trying to process the treatment methods that would follow were the only things I could focus on. He told me to think about it, and stressed that my participation would be of value in gathering medical information that would help others in the future. At the idea of turning my misfortune into something good for others, I eventually decided I would do it, and a clinical trial nurse was assigned to me. NIH Clinical Center Clinical Research Nursing
During our first meeting, I was told I would be given a series of easy questions to answer every month, and asked if I felt I could be honest and candid. I was also told I could leave the study whenever I wanted to, with no questions asked. The first questionaire was easy. It addressed my family history and consisted of ten questions. However, as time went on with my treatment and I felt sicker and weaker, my enthusiasm with this project waned. Already needing to have two large vials of blood drawn for monthly checks on my immune system, I discovered this trial study required that I have two additional ones drawn about every other month for their own personal tests. Four blood draws made me anxious and I began to dread those days. The questions became more personal, such as details concerning my sex life, and I soon began to feel very uncomfortable divulging intimate details. After four months I withdrew from the study. The nurse said she understood when I told her how I felt, and the information I had given would help.
This is something I wouldn’t do again, but I think it is a personal choice. If you think you would like to participate in clinical trials, you can ask your doctor for a referral or inquire at your local hospital. You can also find a broader range of trials online, but research the site thoroughly.
7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Clinical Trials
Clinical Research Volunteers Paid Clinical Trials – ClinicalResearch.com
Learn About Clinical Studies – ClinicalTrials.gov
Volunteer for Clinical Studies, NIAID, NIH