Treatments for breast cancer have improved over the years, but much research still needs to be done.
That's why Dr. Saranya Chumsri, a Mayo Clinic oncologist, says she often recommends her patients with breast cancer participate in clinical trials, which research innovative therapies and accelerate critical advances in patient care.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (1:06) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please "courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.
Therapies for people with breast cancer have advanced, thanks to clinical trials and the people who volunteer to participate in them. But the need for research continues.
"Our treatment for breast cancer has improved significantly in the past few decades," says Dr. Chumsri.
She says she encourages breast cancer patients to consider clinical trials.
"First of all, it will help us advance science … the patient herself will also benefit from being able to have the access to these new drugs."
But a lack of diversity in clinical trials could mean a lack of data for different groups of people.
So it’s important for people from diverse communities to participate in clinical trials to promote health equity and reduce health disparities.
"Enrolling these patients into the clinical trial, first of all, they actually might benefit from these novel treatments, like immunotherapy," says Dr. Chumsri.
And research findings from clinical trials benefit everyone by advancing health care and improving community health.
"This is the only way we can learn whether the treatment would be better than what we currently have as a standard of care," she says.