In the confusing days and weeks after a breast cancer diagnosis, a nurse navigator or patient advocate can help you make sense of your disease and its treatment and even guide you in getting a second option. Nurse navigators follow cancer patients from diagnosis through follow-up care and help make sense of the doctors, treatments, jargon, and options while providing a supportive presence. In most cases, navigators collaborate with all members of the medical team; educate and counsel patients and their families; and coordinate care with oncologists, surgeons, pharmacists, dieticians, and counselors.
Check to see if your healthcare provider offers access to such a professional. If not, lobby for them to start. We all need more information than we have after a breast cancer diagnosis. We should not be left to our own devices to figure it all out.