How can I find out if I'm eligible for a clinical trial?
During your appointment, please share your interest in participating in a clinical trial if possible. Your doctor will ask you many questions to determine your eligibility to participate in a clinical trial because each clinical trial has very specific requirements.
Find a clinical trial
I would like to get a second opinion but my doctor has told me to start my cancer treatment right away. What should I do?
Talk with your original oncologist about your desire to receive a second opinion. They can guide you about how long you can safely wait before having surgery or beginning treatment.
I've heard a lot about Penn physicians using a multidisciplinary approach to care. What does this mean?
Multidisciplinary care means that you will have a cancer team consisting of different specialists working together to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your individual needs. Your team will consist of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, surgeons, nurses, rehabilitation specialists, patient navigators, dietitians and counselors. Together we ensure you receive the most comprehensive care possible.
My current doctor referred me to a certain specialist but my appointment is with a different doctor. When can I see the specialist I was referred to?
In order to provide you with the best care possible, your first consultation will be with the specialist who best fits your needs based on your circumstances. For example, if it would benefit you to have additional diagnostic tests conducted first, then your first appointment will be with the specialist who can perform those tests for you. Then you would see the doctor you are referred to. This will help you have the most valuable and meaningful appointments. Please ask questions if you need clarification on who to see.
What is the difference between the care I would receive if I participated in a clinical trial versus the care I would receive if I did not enroll in a clinical trial for my condition?
Our physicians are committed to providing you with the highest level of care, regardless if you do or do not participate in a clinical trial. If you choose not to participate, your doctor will continue your treatment along the acceptable clinical guidelines. Your participation in a particular clinical trial is voluntary. Your decision not to participate will not affect your care.
Should you choose to participate in a trial, your team of physicians will meet with you to discuss the benefits and risks associated with the specific trial. In general, participation in a clinical trial provides you with closer monitoring and more frequent follow up visits with your doctor and study team. Participating in a clinical trial may offer you access to experimental technologies, therapies, and/or medications new to the field that could benefit you.
What portion of my care will be covered by insurance?
Understanding your insurance benefits can help ease the financial stress of undergoing cancer treatment. The best way to achieve this is to contact your insurance company and verify your coverage, deductible, co-pay, and any other special considerations specific to your health plan.