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FOCUS ON CANCER: Easing fear of clinical trials

Published On: Jan 14 2014 03:43:14 PM CST
Updated On: May 09 2014 01:03:40 PM CDT

WSBT's Jennifer Copeland reports on the effort to ease fears of people going through clinical cancer trials.

MISHAWAKA -

When you hear someone is going through a "clinical trial," it can be scary.

A lot of people have a fear it's some kind of unproven medicine.

They're not.

Some of these trials are helping patients here in Michiana.

Most of the treatments doctors prescribe became standard after clinical trials could prove they were the best way to treat cancer.

Doctors and researchers are constantly working to make treatments even better.

These trials begin in a lab, and once they're proven, studied on patients.

It can be anything from a written survey to receiving new cancer drugs, but what makes clinical trials so special is that they're pretty exclusive.

They're not offered everywhere.

Many of these clinical trials are here.

Don Wagley is 86-years-old and has been getting treatments for 4 years as part of a clinical trial for patients who have Myelodysplasia, and so far, it's working.

"I'm feeling good," said Wagley. "I can't complain about how I feel - go fishing once in a while."

Every clinical trial follows national protocols and standards and is only offered to cancer patients after the new treatment option has been rigorously tested over many years and under strict guidelines.

Patients also have to qualify to take part in them.

CLICK HERE for more cancer information from Michiana Hematology Oncology.