Barbara: "Why should I join a clinical trial?" Dr. Theo: "This is one of the most common questions I'm asked, Barbara and Cooper. As a patient in a clinical trial, you will get access to research treatments before they're widely available and these new drugs might be safer or even work better than current treatment options. You will also get closer attention from the clinical research team responsible for your care and more careful monitoring of your condition. Another point in consideration is that it could be cheaper than other available treatments since most study sponsors may pay your research related medical care throughout the study. The final benefit is that you can help others by contributing to important medical research. At the same time, there are potential risks associated with clinical trials that you should bear in mind. First, you may experience unpleasant or even life-threatening side effects from experimental treatments. Then, as with any other treatment, it may not be effective for you even if it helps others. Additionally, you may not even know what you're getting if your study is blinded. Finally, participation may be more time consuming than standard care, as you'll likely be making more frequent trips for studies and procedures. In conclusion, as with any medical decision - be sure to factor in all potential benefits and risks before participating in a clinical trial."
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