A potential benefit of a clinical trial is that the treatment being tested may be free or low cost.
A clinical trial is a research study that looks at how well a new treatment or medical procedure works in people. Clinical trials answer some major questions:
- Does the new treatment or procedure work?
- Is the new treatment safe for people to use?
- Is the new treatment or procedure better than the current standard of care?
Researchers conduct clinical trials in different settings. Many clinical trials are done at cancer centers because that’s where research teams tend to be located, but community hospitals and doctors' offices also can be part of a clinical trial.
Each clinical trial has its own benefits and risks, depending on the type of trial and what it's trying to figure out. Clinical trials may pay for part or all of your treatment, other medical care, travel to and from the treatment center, and other expenses during the study. But not all clinical trials do this. In some cases, you may be expected to cover travel costs, and you still could face copayments and coinsurance costs for routine care that isn’t part of the trial. You also may have extra doctors’ visits, which could lead to more lost wages and increased childcare and transportation costs. Make sure you know exactly what you'll have to pay before you agree to be part of a clinical trial.
For more information on clinical trials, including a detailed list of benefits and risks and how to find clinical trials, visit the Breastcancer.org Clinical Trials section.