Hi internet, it’s me again. I’m sorry I’ve ignored you for these past two weeks- i really had hoped to be more diligent about updating this blog. Alas, the life of working two jobs, volunteering in a hospital and taking two science classes is extremely hectic and like many a significant others in my past, you, my dearest blog, have been cruelly ignored. But! today! Today, i have something quick to say.
I came home from my internship today feeling a little bit exasperated than usual. You see, I currently intern with a clinical trial research study group and some portion of my job entails me to statistically analyze the trends amongst those with diagnosed cancer (of all kinds) and their attitudes towards new medical research. This means coding some statistics program to do regression models, compare frequencies and crosstabs of information and then give me a value for some variables significance towards another. Most of the time, it is a bunch of mumbo jumbo but once in a while, I look at the data I get and I am confused as to how my perceptions of reality differ so much from the reality itself. I have probably sifted through 1000 accounts from patients and numbers don’t lie! When I ran a statistical analysis of a survey concerning patient willingness to participate in cancer clinical trials, most answered that they would not EVER consider it. As a hopeful future healthcare provider, I am honestly PUZZLED as to how the percentages are so skewed to the negative response. On the one hand, I understand the skepticism with which people might approach experimental drug therapies but on the other, I also know that many of the better treatments for cancer are still being developed. These research studies also involve much more than just drug therapies. Many are concerned with lifestyle and preventative care in cancer patients as well.
I understand that it is scary to put your body out there for something that could be entirely experimental, or even worse- a placebo!, but I can’t help but feel that the results might outweigh the sacrifices.
If anyone out there is reading this and has some input from first hand experience or otherwise about why one would be so reluctant to participate in groundbreaking medical research, please let me know!