Clinical trials are extremely important scientific studies needed and required to assess new medical treatments, including treatments for diseases such as breast cancer. This article explores the reasons why clinical trials are necessary, what they are exactly, and how people with breast cancer can benefit from clinical trials.
According to the American Cancer Society, better treatment options are improving a patient’s chances of surviving breast cancer. Currently, the five-year relative survival rate for women who have either stage 0 or stage 1 breast cancer is close to 100%. Later-stage breast cancer has a lower survival rate, but it is still high: For women with stage 2 breast cancer, the five-year relative survival rate is about 93%, while for stage 3 breast cancers it is about 72%.
In addition to helping patients by making the best possible treatments available, clinical trials also advance scientific understanding of a disease or disorder.
It is important to make sure that a new drug is more effective than existing treatments, actually works in a disease, and that it is safe. Decisions to give drugs or other medical treatments have to come from scientific data, not just the opinion of a healthcare provider, patient, or other individual. Clinical trials help to assure all of these things.
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