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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 quality of life and wellbeing studies

Several types of studies are looking at quality of life and wellbeing. These studies may be open to people who either have or have not 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, sign up for our Peer Navigation Program to be matched with a trained volunteer who can help you.

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 they 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. 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

  • You can search studies by eligibility based on cancer survivorship or risk:
    • High risk but no cancer
    • Breast cancer survivors
    • Ovarian cancer survivors
    • Pancreatic cancer survivors
    • Prostate cancer survivors
    • Melanoma survivors
  • You can search for studies based on the category of survivorship that they address:
    • Lymphedema
    • Neuropathy
    • Coping
    • Exercise and Weight Management
    • Memory and Cognition
    • Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Keyword search
    • Add a keyword to narrow your search results. Examples of keywords may include a type of symptom, e.g., hot-flashes or bone density, or the type of intervention; e.g., acupuncture or meditation.

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 leading the study about any additional out-of-pocket costs you might incur. Some studies cover the cost of travel, parking, and childcare. Some may also 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 not covered by the study. 

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered