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Oncology Patient Navigator

When someone diagnosed with breast cancer comes to Karmanos Cancer Institute, they will receive exceptional care from our entire team. Our Patient Navigator Program features a dedicated registered oncology nurse who works to guide patients through the health care system, ensuring they receive seamless, coordinated care, along with any other necessary support services. The patient navigator is a constant, a familiar face that is always there to answer questions, reinforce patient education, ease anxiety and eliminate any barriers that might impede care. What's more, the patient navigator will communicate with the primary care physician, ensuring they receive up-to-date information about their patients' progress.

Specifically, the patient navigator seeks to:

  • Address your questions and concerns
  • Link you to resources regarding insurance and payment assistance
  • Refer you to transportation services, if needed
  • Direct you to further health care services
  • Identify helpful local resources and support services
  • Help you track appointments
  • Act as a resource for helpful health care information for you and your family

McLaren Northern Michigan Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator

The Nurse Navigator program at Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Northern Michigan, first established in 2013, has expanded to include all cancer patients in need with individual training and experience specific to a patient's cancer origin - breast, lung, head/neck are examples. Nurse navigators are experienced, specially-trained oncology care professionals who serve as patient guides and advocate through each phase of the continuum of care. 

The Role of the Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator

  • Develop patient and family relationships with emotional support and encouragement
  • Help patients and families understand diagnosis and treatment options
  • Empower patients to make informed medical decisions
  • Assist in planning and management of individual treatment plans for seamless and efficient care
  • Enhance communication with full medical team
  • Advocate and serve as a knowledgeable and committed professional
  • Help patients and families understand and manage treatment side effects. 
  • Assist with post-mastectomy care, consultation, and support including:
    • Prosthetics and wigs
    • Comfort kits - softee camisoles and Heal in Comfort recovery shirts
    • Lymphedema prevention and treatment
  • Screen for hereditary 'red flags' and assist with referrals to genetic counselor as appropriate
  • Transitional support and survivorship programs
  • Coordinate relevant community and health-related services such as:
    • Oncology Dietitian
    • Financial Assistance
    • Transportation Assistance
    • Support Groups
    • Community Programs

Our Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator program is affiliated with:

The Role of the Head, Neck, and Lung Cancer Nurse Navigator

  • Develop patient and family relationships with emotional support and encouragement
  • Helps patients and families understand diagnosis and treatment options
  • Empower patients to make informed medical decisions
  • Assist in planning and management of individual care
  • Enhance communication with full medical team
  • Advocate and serve as knowledgeable and committed professional
  • Helps patients and families understand and manage treatment side effects
  • Coordinate relevant community and health-related services such as:
    • Oncology Dietitian
    • Financial Assistance
    • Transportation Assistance
    • Support Groups
    • Community Programs