Breast Cancer Patient Navigators

Breast Cancer Patient Navigators

Our patient navigators provide each breast cancer patient with a “point person”—a specially trained care team member who gives guidance throughout the treatment process. Navigators provide guidance, advocacy, education, and support for breast cancer patients. Patients who receive guidance from a Navigator generally feel calmer and more in control.

While many navigator programs begin after a woman has been diagnosed, here at MarinHealth we recognize the stress that comes with being called in for more tests after a routine mammogram. That’s why our navigators start working with patients before further testing even takes place. As part of her role as a patient advocate, the navigator makes sure tests are scheduled as soon as possible, explains procedures, and talks with the patient both the evening before and the day after procedures.

The Navigator’s Role in the Treatment Process

If a tumor is found, the navigator will call the patient’s primary care physician. Doctors appreciate the coordinated guidance a navigator provides. In fact, many elect to have the navigator be the point person that informs their patient of her diagnosis and explain the treatment information. In addition to providing individual guidance, our navigators teach a weekly class to help patients prepare for surgery.

After surgery, patients receive information and treatment from their radiation and chemotherapy teams rather than from their navigator, but the navigator continues to support the patient throughout the whole treatment process. The ongoing rapport between the patient and her navigator is a thread of continuity that is deeply appreciated by patients and healthcare professionals alike.

Navigator Support Services

  • Assist in the diagnostic evaluation process
  • Help women make informed decisions, providing medical information and resource materials
  • Educate patients on healthful habits and stress management
  • Provide psychosocial and emotional support for patients and their families
  • Assist patients in understanding and managing the symptoms and side effects of treatment
  • Serve as a liaison between the patient and the healthcare team
  • Provide referrals to support services and complementary therapies
  • Act as a liaison between the patient, her doctors (including her primary care physician), and her family

Our Navigators have many years of experience working with breast cancer patients. They have a strong interest in holistic health, addressing the whole person so they can help a woman with everything from evaluating her treatment options to taking advantage of all of our services and resources.