|What Is Cancer?
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells. It can affect almost any part of the body. The growths often invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize to distant body sites.
Origin of the word cancer
Cancer is the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases. Although there are many kinds of cancer, all cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated cancers can cause serious illness and death.
Many cancers can be prevented by avoiding exposure to common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke. In addition, a significant proportion of cancers can be cured, by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, especially if they are detected early.
Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC), who is considered the “Father of Medicine.” used the termscarcinosandcarcinomato describe non-ulcer forming and ulcer-forming tumors. In Greek, these words refer to a crab, most likely applied to the disease because the finger-like spreading projections from a cancer called to mind the shape of a crab. The Roman physician, Celsus (28-50 BC), later translated the Greek term intocancer, the Latin word for crab. Galen (130-200 AD), another Roman physician, used the wordoncos(Greek for swelling) to describe tumors. Although the crab analogy of Hippocrates and Celsus is still used to describe malignant tumors, Galen’s term is now used as a part of the name for cancer specialists — oncologists.
How cancer starts
Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth. Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. Cancer cells can also invade (grow into) other tissues, something that normal cells cannot do. Growing out of control and invading other tissues are what makes a cell a cancer cell.
Cells become cancer cells because of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) damage. DNA is in every cell and it directs all the cell’s actions. In a normal cell, when DNA gets damaged the cell either repairs the damage or the cell dies. In cancer cells, the damaged DNA is not repaired, and the cell doesn’t die like it should. Instead, the cell goes on making new cells that the body doesn’t need. These new cells all have the same abnormal DNA as the first cell does.
People can inherit abnormal DNA, but most DNA damage is caused by mistakes that happen while the normal cell is reproducing or by something in the environment. Sometimes the cause of the DNA damage may be something obvious like cigarette smoking etc. But it’s rare to know exactly what caused any one person’s cancer.
In most cases, the cancer cells form a tumor. Some cancers, like leukemia, rarely form tumors. Instead, these cancer cells involve the blood and blood-forming organs and circulate through other tissues where they grow.
How cancer spreads
Cancer cells often travel to other parts of the body where they begin to grow and form new tumors. This happens when the cancer cells get into the body’s bloodstream or lymph vessels. Over time, the tumors replace normal tissue. The process of cancer spreading is calledmetastasis.
How cancers differ
No matter where a cancer may spread, it’s always named for the place where it started. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the liver is called metastatic breast cancer, not liver cancer. Likewise, prostate cancer that has spread to the bone is called metastatic prostate cancer, not bone cancer.
Different types of cancer can behave very differently. For instance, lung cancer and skin cancer are very different diseases. They grow at different rates and respond to different treatments. This is why people with cancer need treatment that is aimed at their kind of cancer.
Tumors that are not cancer
Not all tumors are cancer. Tumors that aren’t cancer are calledbenign. Benign tumors can cause problems – they can grow very large and press on healthy organs and tissues. But they cannot grow into (invade) other tissues. Because they can’t invade, they also can’t spread to other parts of the body (metastasize). These tumors are almost never life threatening.
How common is cancer?
How does cancer cause signs and symptoms?
Today, millions of people are living with cancer or have had cancer. The risk of developing many types of cancer can be reduced by changes in a person’s lifestyle, for example, by staying away from tobacco, being physically active, and healthy eating etc.
There are also screening tests that can be done for some types of cancers so they can be found as early as possible – while they are small and before they have spread. In general, the earlier a cancer is found and treated, the better the chances are for living for many years.
Cancer is a group of diseases that can cause almost any sign or symptom. The signs and symptoms will depend on where the cancer is, how big it is, and how much it affects the organs or tissues. If a cancer has spread (metastasized), signs or symptoms may appear in different parts of the body.
As a cancer grows, it can begin to push on nearby organs, blood vessels, and nerves. This pressure causes some of the signs and symptoms of cancer. If the cancer is in a critical area, such as certain parts of the brain, even the smallest tumor can cause symptoms.
But sometimes cancer starts in places where it will not cause any signs or symptoms until it has grown quite large. Cancers of the pancreas, for example, usually do not cause symptoms until they grow large enough to press on nearby nerves or organs (this causes back or belly pain). Others may grow around the bile duct and block the flow of bile. This causes the eyes and skin to look yellow (jaundice). By the time a pancreatic cancer causes signs or symptoms like these, it’s usually in an advanced stage. This means it has grown and spread beyond the place it started—the pancreas.
A cancer may also cause symptoms like fever, extreme tiredness (fatigue), or weight loss. This may be because cancer cells use up much of the body’s energy supply, or they may release substances that change the way the body makes energy from food. Or the cancer may cause the immune system to react in ways that produce these signs and symptoms.
Sometimes, cancer cells release substances into the bloodstream that cause symptoms which are not usually linked to cancer. For example, some cancers of the pancreas can release substances that cause blood clots in veins of the legs. Some lung cancers make hormone-like substances that raise blood calcium levels. This affects nerves and muscles, making the person feel weak and dizzy.
What are some General signs and symptoms of cancer?
You should know some of the general signs and symptoms of cancer. But remember, having any of these does not mean that you have cancer—many other things cause these signs and symptoms, too. If you have any of these symptoms and they last for a long time or get worse, please see a doctor to find out what’s going on.
Unexplained weight loss
Most people with cancer will lose weight at some point. When you lose weight for no known reason, it’s called anunexplainedweight loss. An unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more may be the first sign of cancer. This happens most often with cancers of thepancreas,stomach,esophagus(swallowing tube), or lung.
Fever is very common with cancer, but it more often happens after cancer has spread from where it started. Almost all patients with cancer will have fever at some time, especially if the cancer or its treatment affects the immune system. (This can make it harder for the body to fight infection.) Less often, fever may be an early sign of cancer, such as blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma.
Fatigue is extreme tiredness that does not get better with rest. It may be an important symptom as cancer grows. It may happen early, though, in some cancers, like leukemia. Somecolon or stomachcancers can cause blood loss that’s not obvious. This is another way cancer can cause fatigue.
Pain may be an early symptom with some cancers like bone cancersor testicular cancer. A headache that does not go away or get better with treatment may be a symptom of abrain tumor. Back pain can be a symptom of cancer of thecolon, rectum, or ovary. Most often, pain due to cancer means it has already spread (metastasized) from where it started.
Along with cancers of the skin, some other cancers can cause skin changes that can be seen. These signs and symptoms include:
Signs and symptoms of certain specific cancers
- Darker looking skin (hyperpigmentation)
- Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Reddened skin (erythema)
- Itching (pruritis)
- Excessive hair growth
Along with the general symptoms, you should watch for certain other common signs and symptoms that could suggest cancer. Again, there may be other causes for each of these, but it’s important to see a doctor about them as soon as possible.
Change in bowel habits or bladder function
Long-term constipation, diarrhea, or a change in the size of the stool may be a sign of colon cancer. Pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, or a change in bladder function (such as needing to pass urine more or less often than usual) could be related tobladder or prostatecancer. Report any changes in bladder or bowel function to a doctor.
Sores that do not heal
Skin cancersmay bleed and look like sores that don’t heal. A long-lasting sore in the mouth could be anoral cancer. This should be dealt with right away, especially in people who smoke, chew tobacco, or often drink alcohol. Sores on the penis or vagina may either be signs of infection or an early cancer, and should be seen by a health professional.
White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue
White patches inside the mouth and white spots on the tongue may beleukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a pre-cancerous area that’s caused by frequent irritation. It’s often caused by smoking or other tobacco use. People who smoke pipes or use oral or spit tobacco are at high risk for leukoplakia. If it’s not treated, leukoplakia can becomemouth cancer. Any long-lasting mouth changes should be checked by a doctor or dentist right away.
Unusual bleeding or discharge
Unusual bleeding can happen in early or advanced cancer. Coughing up blood in the sputum (phlegm) may be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in the stool (which can look like very dark or black stool) could be a sign of colon or rectal cancer. Cancer of thecervixor theendometrium(lining of the uterus) can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding. Blood in the urine may be a sign of bladder or kidneycancer. A bloody discharge from the nipple may be a sign of breast cancer.
Thickening or lump in the breast or other parts of the body
Many cancers can be felt through the skin. These cancers occur mostly in thebreast,testicle, lymph nodes (glands), and the soft tissues of the body. A lump or thickening may be an early or late sign of cancer and should be reported to a doctor, especially if you’ve just found it or notice it has grown in size. Keep in mind that some breast cancers show up as red or thickened skin rather than the expected lump.
Indigestion or trouble swallowing
Indigestion or swallowing problems that don’t go away may be signs of cancer of theesophagus(the swallowing tube that goes to the stomach),stomach, orpharynx(throat). But like most symptoms on this list, they are most often caused by something other than cancer.
Recent change in a wart or mole or any new skin change
Any wart, mole, or freckle that changes color, size, or shape, or that loses its sharp border should be seen by a doctor right away. Any other skin changes should be reported, too. A skin change may be amelanomawhich, if found early, can be treated successfully.
Nagging cough or hoarseness
A cough that does not go away may be a sign oflung cancer. Hoarseness can be a sign of cancer of thevoice box(larynx) orthyroid gland.
The signs and symptoms listed above are the more common ones seen with cancer, but there are many others that are not listed here. If you notice any major changes in the way your body works or the way you feel – especially if it lasts for a long time or gets worse – let a doctor know. If it has nothing to do with cancer, the doctor can find out more about what’s going on and, if needed, treat it. If it is cancer, you’ll give yourself the chance to have it treated early, when treatment works best.
What Causes Cancer?
Cancer is a complex group of diseases with many possible causes. In this section you can learn more about the known causes of cancer, including genetic factors; lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, diet, and physical activity; certain types of infections; and environmental exposures to different types of chemicals and radiation.
Genetics and Cancer :
Some types of cancer run in certain families, but most cancers are not clearly linked to the genes we inherit from our parents.
Tobacco and Cancer: Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemical compounds. More than 250 of these chemicals are known to be harmful, and at least 69 are known to cause cancer. Besides lung cancer, tobacco use also increases the risk for cancers of the mouth, lips, nasal cavity (nose) and sinuses, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon/rectum, ovary (mucinous), and acute myeloid leukemia. Smokeless tobacco products are a major source of cancer-causing nitrosamines and a known cause of human cancer. They increase the risk of developing cancer of the mouth and throat, esophagus (swallowing tube), and pancreas.
Secondhand smoke (SHS) is also known asenvironmental tobacco smoke(ETS). SHS is a mixture of 2 forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco: Sidestream smoke – smoke from the lighted end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, Mainstream smoke – the smoke exhaled by a smoker
Even though we think of these as the same, they aren’t. Sidestream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) than mainstream smoke. And, it has smaller particles than mainstream smoke, which make their way into the lungs and the body’s cells more easily.
When non-smokers are exposed to SHS it is calledinvoluntary smokingorpassive smoking.Non-smokers who breathe in SHS take in nicotine and toxic chemicals by the same route smokers do. The more SHS you breathe, the higher the level of these harmful chemicals in your body. Secondhand smoke is classified as a “known human carcinogen” (cancer-causing agent).
Body Weight and Cancer Risk: Being overweight or obese can have far-reaching health consequences, including raising your risk for certain types of cancer. Excess body weight contributes to as many as 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths. Being overweight or obese is clearly linked with an increased risk of many cancers, including cancers of the:Breast (in women past menopause),Colon and rectum, Endometrium (lining of the uterus),Esophagus, Kidney,Pancreas. In addition, having too much belly fat (that is, a larger waistline), regardless of body weight, is linked with an increased risk of colon and rectal cancer, and is probably linked to a higher risk of cancers of the pancreas, endometrium, and breast cancer (in women past menopause).
Alcohol Use and Cancer : Most people know that heavy alcohol use can cause health problems. But many people may not be aware that alcohol use can increase their risk of cancer. Cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus:Alcohol use clearly raises the risk of these cancers. Drinking and smoking together raises the risk of these cancers far more than the effects of either drinking or smoking alone. This might be because alcohol can act as a solvent, helping harmful chemicals in tobacco to get into the cells lining the digestive tract. Alcohol may also slow down these cells' ability to repair DNA damage caused by chemicals in tobacco. Liver cancer:Long-term alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk of liver cancer. Regular, heavy alcohol use can damage the liver, leading to inflammation. This, in turn, may raise the risk of liver cancer.Colon and rectal cancer:Alcohol use has been linked with a higher risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. The evidence for such a link is generally stronger in men than in women, although studies have found the link in both sexes.
Is Cancer Contagious? No, cancer is NOT contagious.
A healthy person cannot “catch” cancer from someone who has it. There is no evidence that close contact or things like sex, kissing, touching, sharing meals, or breathing the same air can spread cancer from one person to another.
Cancer cells from one person are generally unable to live in the body of another healthy person. A healthy person’s immune system recognizes foreign cells and destroys them, including cancer cells from another person.
There have been a few cases in which organ transplants from people with cancer have been able to cause cancer in the person who got the organ. But there’s a major factor that makes this possible — people who get organ transplants take medicines that weaken their immune systems. This must be done so their immune system won’t attack and destroy the transplanted organ. This seems to be the main reason that cancer in a transplanted organ can, in rare cases, give cancer to the person who gets the organ. Organ donors are carefully screened to help keep this from happening.
But recent studies have shown that cancer is more common in people who get solid-organ transplants than in people who don’t — even when the donor doesn’t have cancer. This is also probably due to the drugs that are used to reduce the risk of transplant rejection. These drugs weaken the immune response and make the immune system less able to recognize and attack pre-cancer cells and the viruses that can cause cancer.
Even if a woman has cancer during pregnancy, the cancer rarely affects the fetus directly. Some cancers can spread from the mother to the placenta (the organ that connects the mother to the fetus), but most cancers cannot affect the fetus itself. In a few very rare cases, melanoma (a form of skin cancer) has been found to spread to the placenta and the fetus.
Germs can be contagious.
We know that germs (mainly bacteria and viruses) can be passed from person to person through sex, kissing, touching, and sharing or preparing food. Some can even be spread by breathing the same air. But germs are much more likely to be a threat to a person with cancer than to a healthy person. This is because people with cancer often have weakened immune systems (especially when they are getting treatment), and they may not be able to fight off infections very well.
Germs can affect cancer risk.
There are some germs that can play a role in the development of certain types of cancer. This may lead some people to wrongly think that “cancer is catching.”
We know that some forms of cancer are found more often in people who are infected with certain viruses. For example:
Certain types of human papilloma viruses (HPVs) are linked to cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, and anus. HPV is also linked to some cancers of the mouth, throat, head, and neck. But smoking, drinking, and other factors increase the risk of these cancers, too.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is linked to nose and throat (nasopharyngeal) cancer, lymphoma of the stomach, Hodgkin lymphoma, and Burkitt lymphoma.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are linked to long-term (chronic) liver infections, which can raise the risk of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).
Human herpes virus Type 8 (HHV-8), also calledKaposi sarcoma herpes virus(or KSHV), is linked with a type of cancer calledKaposi sarcoma. Most people with HHV-8 do not develop Kaposi sarcoma unless they are also infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. A few may get Kaposi sarcoma if they are taking medicines thatweaken their immune systems (such as those used after an organ transplant).
Human T-lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1) is linked with certain types of lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
Invasive cervical cancer, Kaposi sarcoma, and certain lymphomas are much more common in people who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. In many cases of HIV-related cancer, other viruses (such as HHV-8 or HPV) also play a major role in the cancer’s growth and development.
These viruses can be passed from person to person (usually through blood or sex), but the viral infection alone usually does not lead to cancer. A weakened immune system, other infections, risk factors (such as smoking), and other health problems allow cancer to develop more readily.
Bacteria can also promote cancer.Helicobacter pyloriis a common bacterium now known to be linked to certain kinds of cancer in the stomach. Long-term infection with these bacteria can damage the inner layer of the stomach and increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Cancer develops because your DNA changes
Most cancers do not appear to be caused or affected by infectious agents. Cancer develops because of mutations (changes) that take place in a person’s DNA, the genetic blueprint in each cell. These changes are inherited or develop during life. Some changes happen for no known reason, while others are due to environmental exposures, such as sun (UV) damage or cigarette smoke. Some viruses are known to directly cause mutations in DNA that can develop into cancer. Other germs promote cancer indirectly by causing chronic (long-term) inflammation, or by weakening a person’s immune system.
People with cancer need to be around other people.
Even today, families, friends, and co-workers of people with cancer sometimes stay away when they learn about the disease. As a result, people with cancer often say they feel isolated and alone.
You don’t have to stay away from someone with cancer — you cannot “catch” it from them. Don’t be afraid to visit a person with cancer. They need your visits and support.
Economic Impact of Cancer
The financial costs of cancer are high for both the person with cancer and for society as a whole.
One of the major costs of cancer is cancer treatment. But lack of health insurance and other barriers to health care preventmany patients from even getting good, basic health care. “Uninsured patients and those from ethnic minorities are substantially more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a later stage, when treatment can be more extensive and more costly.” In fact, this leads not only to higher medical costs, but also poorer outcomes and higher cancer death rates. Cancer costs Crores of Rupees. It also costs us the people we love. Reducing barriers to cancer care is critical in the fight to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer.
How Is Cancer Staged?
Staging describes the extent or spread of cancer at the time of diagnosis. Proper staging is essential in determining the choice of therapy and in assessing prognosis. A cancer’s stage is based on the size or extent of the primary (main) tumor and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. A number of different staging systems are used to classify tumors. A system of summary staging (in situ, local, regional, and distant) is used for descriptive and statistical analysis of tumor registry data. If cancer cells are present only in the layer of cells where they developed and have not spread, the stage is in situ. If cancer cells have penetrated beyond the original layer of tissue, the cancer is invasiveand categorized as local, regional, or distant stage based on theextent of spreadClinicians typically use the TNM cancer staging system, which assesses tumors in three ways: extent of the primary tumor (T), absence or presence of regional lymph node involvement (N), and absence or presence of distant metastases (M). Once the T, N, and M categories are determined, a stage of 0, I, II, III, or IV is assigned, with stage 0 being in situ, stage I being early, and stage IV being the most advanced disease. Some cancers have alternative staging systems (e.g., leukemia). As the molecular properties of cancer have become better understood, tumor biological markers and genetic features have been incorporated into prognostic models, treatment plans, and/or stage for some cancer sites.
What Type of Cancer Specialists Do You Need?
Cancer is a complex and tricky disease, so you may need to see several different cancer specialists during your treatment. Treatment often involves the combined care of several cancer specialists at once.
Basically, there are three ways to treat cancer: with medicine, with radiation, and with surgery. Each treatment may be handled by a different specialist. Not every person will need all three types of treatments. It depends on your type of cancer and the stage of your cancer. However, here’s a rundown of the cancer specialists you might see:
- Medical oncologist – This cancer specialist treats cancer with chemotherapy
- Radiation oncologist.This cancer specialist treats cancer with radiation therapy.
- Surgical oncologist -This cancer specialist treat cancer by removing tumors or other cancerous tissue.
Depending on your case, you may also need to see other types of doctors for special cancer care.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Think about how much information you would like to know about your type of cancer, and share this information with your doctor.
Use this list to generate ideas of questions you'd like to ask -
you don't have to ask every question.
Consider writing down your questions before the appointment.
Being informed and asking questions gives you some control over your cancer and may help you cope. Studies show that people with cancer who are fully informed about their disease and treatment options usually tend to fare better and have fewer side effects than those who simply follow doctors' orders. Some people feel overwhelmed by too much information, or do not want to know as many details about their condition. Think about how much information is right for you.
Getting answers to your questions
Your doctor should make time to answer your questions and explain the treatment options. Here are some tips to help you communicate better with your doctor:
Tell your doctor if you are having trouble understanding an explanation, description, or unfamiliar medical words. Sometimes, the doctor may be able to draw a picture or give an example.
Consider writing your questions down before your appointment, which can lower your level of stress and help make the most of your visit.
Bring a notebook to the appointment. During the appointment, write down your doctor's answers, or ask a family member or friend to write them down for you. This way, you can read or listen to the information later.
If you are interested in seeking a second opinion, let your doctor know. Most doctors fully understand the value of a second opinion and are not offended when patients seek one. They may even be able to suggest another doctor.
Ask your doctor or nurse where you can find additional information or printed materials about your condition. Many offices have this information readily available.
Talk with your health care team about information you have found on the Internet or in books or magazines. Not all information is accurate and reliable. Learn more about evaluating cancer information on the Internet.
Suggested questions to ask the doctor
An important part of managing your care is knowing what questions to ask of your doctor.
Every person's needs are unique, and your questions will change over time.
Here are some examples of the types of questions you may want to ask your doctor.
What type of cancer do I have?
Where exactly is it located?
What are the risk factors for this disease?
Is this type of cancer caused by genetic factors? Are other members of my family at risk?
How many people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year?
What lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, rest) do you recommend I make to stay as healthy as possible before, during, and after treatment?
Where can I find more information about my cancer?
What are some common symptoms or side effects of this type of cancer?
How can I avoid these and/or manage them with my daily activities?
Is there anything that can be done to make my symptoms or side effects better?
Are there activities that may make them worse?
If new symptoms or side effects arise or existing ones worsen, what should I do?
Whatdiagnostic tests or proceduresare necessary? How often?
What information will these tests tell us?
How can I prepare myself for each test or procedure?
Where do I need to go to have this test?
When will I get the results? How will I get the results (at the next appointment, etc.)?
Can you explain my pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
If I seek a second opinion, will I have to repeat any tests or procedures?
How much information about my diagnosis should I share, and at what time, with my friends and loved ones?
What is the stage of my cancer? What does this mean?
Has cancer spread to my lymph nodes or anywhere else?
How is staging used to find out cancer treatment?
What is my prognosis (chance of recovery)?
What are my treatment options?
Which treatments, or combination of treatments, do you recommend? Why?
What is the goal of the treatment you are recommending?
Cost of treatment? Economics ? Your affordability? Family & other financial support?
Various treatment options?
Need for Combination of treatments?
Side effects ? Frequency ? severity ?
Advantages and disadvantages of various treatment options?
Generally Cure of Cancer is not offered? but you can enquire with your doctor the approximate Cure rates i.e, out of 100 similar patients of similar case how many may live without cancer in 2 or 5 years after completing the treatment ?
Fitness of individual patients to undergo the rigors of various oncotherapy may be enquired?
What clinical trials (research studies involving people) are open to me?
Who will be part of my treatment team, and what does each member do?
How much experience do you (or the treatment team) have treating this type of cancer?
Will I need to be hospitalized for treatment, or is this treatment done in an outpatient clinic?
What is the expected timeline for my treatment plan? Do I need to be treated right away?
How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
What are the short-term side effects of this treatment?
What long-term side effects may be associated with this cancer treatment?
Will this treatment affect my fertility (ability to become pregnant or father children)?
Besides treating cancer, what can be done to treat my symptoms?
How can I keep myself as healthy as possible during treatment?
What are clinical trials?
How do clinical trials help people with cancer?
Is this a treatment option for me?
What happens during a clinical trial?
What are the benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial?
How will I be monitored while participating in a clinical trial?
What are my responsibilities during the clinical trial?
Are there any costs associated with my participation in a clinical trial?
Where can I learn more about clinical trials?
Find morequestions to ask the research teamwhen considering a clinical trial.
What support services are available to me? To my family?
Whom should I call with questions or concerns during non-work hours?
May I contact you or the nurse to talk about additional information I find?
Can you recommend a social worker to help locate support services?
Where can I find resources for children? For teenagers? For young adults? For older adults?
If I'm worried about managing the costs related to my cancer care, who can help me with these concerns?
Who handles health insurance concerns in your office?
- What follow-up tests do I need, and how often will I need them?
- Is there anything else I should be asking?