National Cancer Institute National Cancer Institute
U.S. National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute
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How to Find a Cancer Treatment Trial: A 10-Step Guide
    Posted: 03/21/2005
Related Pages
Search for Clinical Trials 1
NCI's PDQ® registry of cancer clinical trials.

Educational Materials About Clinical Trials 2
What clinical trials are, how they work, and other educational materials for patients and professionals.
Related Information
View/Print a PDF of this guide 3

Need help finding a trial?
  Call 1-800-4-CANCER

Before You Start: Step 2

Talk With Your Doctor

When considering clinical trials, your best starting point is your doctor and other members of your health care team.

Your primary care physician, cancer doctor (oncologist), surgeon, or other health care provider might know about a clinical trial you should consider. He or she can help you determine whether a clinical trial might be a good option.

NOTE: In some cases, your doctor may be reluctant to discuss clinical trials as a treatment option for you. Some doctors are unfamiliar with clinical trials, cautious about turning your care over to another medical team, or wary of the extra time that joining a clinical trial might require of them and their staff. If so, you may wish to get a second opinion about your treatment options and clinical trials.

Remember, you do not always need a referral from your doctor to join a clinical trial.

If you are eligible to join a trial (discussed in Step 3), the final decision is up to you. However, be sure to consider the professional opinions of your doctor. He or she may present very specific reasons why a clinical trial may not be beneficial for you right now.

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