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Tips for Searching Studies

Learn all about participating in research studies focused on hereditary cancers, including breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and melanoma.

Searching prevention, detection, and risk studies

Several types of studies are looking at cancer risk, detection and prevention. They may be open to people who have cancer and are concerned about their risk for a new cancer diagnosis and people who have never been diagnosed with cancer. See below for tips on searching for these studies.

If you need help understanding the terminology and abbreviations used in research, visit our list of definitions. If you would like assistance using our Research Study Search Tool to search for clinical trials, our Peer Navigation Program will match you with a trained volunteer who can help you find research studies.

Before you search

Every patient has the right to know about all their options for care, including clinical trials and research. Your doctor may not be aware of all the research opportunities available to you, especially if he practices at a hospital or facility that is not enrolling patients in a study. It is important that you inform your doctor before and after enrolling in a study, even if she did not recommend a study to you. Your doctor may have important insights, questions, or recommendations about your participation. 

It may be helpful to have your medical records on hand, especially any genetic test results. You have a right to all your medical information, lab test results, and even tumor samples if available. Note that medical facilities are not required to save your records or samples indefinitely. Health care providers are allowed to charge a nominal fee to cover the cost of copying and sending your records. 

Beginning your search

Our search tool allows you to look for prevention, detection, and risk studies by:

  • Type of cancer
    • Search for studies for breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate or melanoma cancer
  • Type of research study
    • Screening/Early detection studies
      • These studies use tests or imaging to identify cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage. This category also includes genetic counseling and genetic testing studies that can help you to better understand your cancer risk. 
    • Risk reduction studies
      • These studies include interventions such as medications, diet, lifestyle changes, or surgical procedures to lower the risk for cancer.
  • Keyword search
    • Add a keyword to narrow your search results. Examples of keywords may include the type of test; e.g., ultrasound or genetic test or risk reduction strategy; e.g., surgery or exercise. You can also search by keywords using a type of drug or supplement to lower risk; e.g., metformin or vitamin A.

Cost to participate in research

Your health insurance is required to cover the routine costs for your care, including routine care that you receive under a clinical trial. Insurance companies may not have to cover the cost of an experimental treatment or procedure the trial is studying. Clinical trials often cover costs that might not be covered by insurance. Ask the research team about any additional out-of-pocket costs you might incur. Some studies cover travel, parking, and childcare; some may provide a stipend or gift card in exchange for your time. If you need to travel a long distance to participate in a clinical trial, there are also organizations that may provide assistance for airfare or hotel if it is not covered by the study. 

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered