Saturday, June 6, 2009

Your Nurse Can be Your Advocate

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.


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