By the time you’re ready to learn more about how to find breast cancer trials, you probably already have an oncologist and have gone through treatment. Breast cancer trials give doctors and scientists opportunities to provide you with better care. They can advance scientifically by designing research studies in which volunteers can participate, aka clinical trials.
Researchers performing clinical trials want to get volunteers to participate, but they don’t know the best way to find qualifying people. Less than 5% of breast cancer patients use a clinical trial to receive treatment, even though breast cancer clinical trials can help doctors and scientists learn if new treatments are effective, are possibly better than an existing treatment, and are safe.
About Breast Cancer Clinical Trials
Every clinical trial has precise criteria that determine if a patient qualifies. While this is an essential part of vetting the best volunteers, this is also why finding breast cancer trials is a challenge. Criteria vary among studies and could be based on:
- Current health status
- Specific age groups
- If the patient’s tumor has specific genetic changes
- Stage and type of breast cancer
- Past treatments
- If patients suffer from other medical conditions
Other obstacles that many patients face when learning how to find breast cancer trials are the exclusion and inclusion criteria. Not every clinical trial is the same. The requirements are designed to identify a narrow segment of healthy participants, which often excludes many patients. The American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Friends of Cancer Research are working on broadening eligibility criteria. There are usually several layers of criteria, which can be stressful to navigate. Sometimes, researchers have to turn volunteers away simply because they aren’t the right fit for the type of sickness that the clinical trial is studying.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many people helping breast cancer patients learn how to find breast cancer trials for which they’re a good fit. Few people understand the criteria and how to navigate it all. Even if patients figure out how to apply, the qualifications are tricky. This is where Ciitizen helps bridge the gap. It’s our mission to help researchers and pharmaceutical companies find the best people for clinical trials.
The Importance of Learning How to Find Breast Cancer Trials That Are Right for You
Learning how to find breast cancer trials that are right for you involves obtaining a copy of your medical records. These records contain the data that doctors and scientists need to determine if you’re a right fit. Screenings for clinical trials also require medical records to help determine a volunteer’s eligibility.
Since this information is vital to participation, the best practices for obtaining medical records include:
- Asking for your records after every doctor’s appointment and treatment
- Not waiting until you need them before requesting copies
Patients are going through so much: dealing with stress, undergoing treatments, tracking down medical records, finding support, and so on. Every procedure and treatment produces a significant amount of paperwork. Often, patients must visit more than one facility during breast cancer care. Their medical records are often in multiple formats, and it’s challenging for patients to collect and organize everything.
Avoid Depending on Patient Portals
Patient portals typically don’t contain provider notes or give patients a comprehensive look at their labs, medical history, or vitals. Requesting this data can help breast cancer patients:
- Track treatments and medical history
- See a current list of medications and dosing requirements
- See how many cycles of a specific treatment they have gone through
Waiting too long after an appointment or treatment to request copies of your medical records can result in a significant amount of frustration. It could mean weeks of waiting time because there’s a lack of incentive for these institutions to get your medical records to you.
Since there’s no standardized way of maintaining and storing records, they’re available in many formats. It’s a hassle on the institution’s side to send them out, and you, as the patient, are stuck waiting until they can sort through those challenges.
How Ciitizen Wants to Help
Figuring out how to find breast cancer trials is an overwhelming process, especially if you don’t have access to your medical records. Ciitizen’s mission is to help more patients collect and maintain their records digitally. This way, you can make sense of everything, especially since obtaining this data is only half the battle. Ciitizen wants to help you use these records to make it easier to identify which clinical trials you qualify for without the headache of doing it yourself.
Ciitizen is a free service that helps patients get more out of their health records. Our platform enables patients to find better treatment options and gives them the opportunity to advance the research for cures. Ready to control all of your medical records in one place? Sign up today in less than 5 minutes!