Stories from the Field: Breast Cancer Clinical Trials and You
Today, Living Beyond Breast Cancer presents the blog series, Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Matter to You, to provide an understanding of today’s clinical trials and their impact on people who participate in them as well as those who design them. LBBC Vice President, Programs and Partnerships Catherine L. Ormerod introduces some of the stories you will read throughout the day.
There are two stark facts when it comes to clinical trials: 1) All breast cancer treatments available to people today were first proven effective in a clinical trial; and 2) Between three and five percent of Americans with cancer participate in clinical trials.
Today, as updates in research are shared at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Annual Meeting in Chicago, Living Beyond Breast Cancer invites you to learn more about clinical trials from individual participant experiences, as well as from current issues and developments in research through this special blog series, Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Matter to You.
Without clinical trial participation many effective drugs would not be available today. The words “clinical trial” may sound scary to you, or make you feel as if you’re a guinea pig in a science experiment. But clinical trials today are highly regulated to ensure you receive quality treatment. (And it’s important to note that in a clinical trial, you will always receive treatment. Read more about this in our Guide to Understanding Clinical Trials.)
Throughout the day, we’ll share blog posts highlighting perspectives from patient advocates, doctors and researchers and, of course, people diagnosed with breast cancer who’ve participated in clinical trials. These personal stories and interviews address topics including how to determine if a clinical trial is right for you, what clinical trials are like for those diagnosed with early-stage or metastatic breast cancer, the need for advocacy and awareness of clinical trials for African-American and Latina women, men and more.
A recurring theme in many of these stories is how participants felt a sense of “paying it forward” for future generations affected by breast cancer.
Blog series participant Brooke Cole, who was diagnosed with stage III HER2-positive disease, states, “The women who participated in the clinical trials for Herceptin years ago paved the way for HER2-positive patients like me. Did those women know at the time the significance of their participation? Probably not. But I am beyond and forever grateful that they did participate because Herceptin has saved lives.”
We hope this series helps you learn more about the realities of clinical trials, and encourages you to weigh your options, enroll in them and also help improve them. Let us know what you are thinking on social media and share your experience with clinical trials using #BCTrialsMatterToYou on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Matter to You is sponsored by