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Are you eligible for a clinical trial

Every clinical trial is designed to answer a set of research questions. If you fit the guidelines for a trial, you may be eligible to take part. Each study enrolls patients with certain types and stages of cancer and certain health status. A study that involves two or more treatments can yield reliable answers only if all the patient cases are the same so they can be compared with each other.

Before you and your physician make a decision about your treatment (whether it is in a clinical trial or not), your type of cancer will be diagnosed and "staged." Staging tells how far the disease has spread. Deciding on treatment depends on many things, including the stage of the disease and your general health. You would most likely be referred by your own doctor or by a doctor who knows your case. Some patients find out about trials from other sources. In any case, you must have a reasonable understanding of your role in a research study and be freely willing to take part in it. Ask what you can expect if you take part in a trial.

The above information is taken from "What Are Clinical Trials All About?" published by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute