It has been found that the majority of Americans don’t like to participate in clinical trials. In fact, they avoid these sessions like the plague.
There is a clear lack of participation in clinical trials in today’s community in America. This may well be the fatal flaw in the study of cancer in the United States.
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A mere 35% of Americans showed willingness to participate in clinical trials. This is a paltry amount of people. Furthermore, only 4% of cancer patients like to have research done on their disease via clinical trials.
The total number of Americans who hold clinical trials in high regard is 40%. These statistics tend to project a dismal view into clinical trials and the American public’s lack of enthusiasm for them. Given the fact that most of the palliative measures for cancer came from clinical trials, it is a sad commentary on the lack of community ethics and morale.
Clinical trials require an ever-increasing number of cancer patients who are willing to participate in them. Yet you cannot coerce someone in doing something the selection of which lies in his or her own hands.
However, it has been shown that education does seem to make a huge difference when it comes to participation levels. After the people were briefed about clinical trials, their numbers went from 40% to 60%. Cancer is still incurable.
Therefore care is of the essence. Yet given the unpredictability of the future, a cure could be found. This of course depends on clinical trials.
“Failing to consider clinical trials at every stage of cancer diagnosis and treatment can represent a significant missed opportunity, primarily for patients, as well as for doctors and researchers trying to develop better therapies,” said Dr. Sabbatini.
“It’s critical that we spread the word: Clinical trials offer our best thinking toward finding better ways to prevent, treat, and cure cancer, and there are options for patients and their families to consider early on in treatment.”
Currently, there are only 900 cancer clinical trials going on in the US of A. Were this graph to come down even more, a crisis of confidence would ensue in the medical establishment regarding a cancer cure.
“When faced with cancer, patients want to know they have multiple options available to them, and this includes clinical trials,” said Dr. Sabbatini.
“For example, participating in a clinical trial at a place like Memorial Sloan Kettering offers patients the opportunity to receive drugs or therapies years before they are more widely available.”
What is needed on an urgent basis is education and greater progress. The facades built up against clinical trial participation include: anxiety over side effects and safety issues, insurance issues and the price that must be paid, unsuitable trial location, placebo worries, skepticism and a low opinion of the clinical trial and last but not least the fear of being made into a mere guinea pig. Now it is up to the cancer researchers to allay the fears of the people.
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This will take time and patience. It won’t happen in one day. The main thing that must be done is to spread the message about a cure for cancer being within reach. Maybe then the public will respond with greater interest and enthusiasm to the occurrence of clinical trials.