Patient navigators, sometimes called patient advocates, are trained to support you throughout your cancer care. Navigators offer a broad spectrum of support, from helping you sort through health insurance forms to coordinating care with your doctors. Often they’re social workers or nurses, but advocates without oncology backgrounds can also get certification. Hospitals and cancer centers have been offering patient navigation programs since the early 1990s — but their popularity is on the rise, largely due to research that shows navigation helps more patients access the care they need, when they need it.
Below you’ll find information on what patient navigators do and their value in cancer care. If you’re interested in a patient navigator supporting you throughout your care, contact your cancer care center to find out if they have navigators available. If they don’t, see the American Cancer Society link below for ways to find a patient navigator.
- Healthline: Ask an MBC Navigator: Resources to Guide Your Journey
- ASCO Post: Patient Navigation Program Reduces Time to Treatment
- Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship: Benefits of Patient Navigation
- American Cancer Society: Patient Navigators Help Cancer Patients Manage Care
Last Modified on February 16, 2021