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Hearing the words "you have cancer" is a very overwhelming
time in the life of any patient and family dealing with this
complex and difficult disease. Cancer care can be
very confusing in that multiple health care
providers are involved from the screening process, to
diagnosis, testing, treatment, and survivorship. Penrose
Cancer Center has established a nurse navigator program to assist
patients and families with this journey.
An oncology nurse navigator (ONN) is a professional
registered nurse with oncology-specific clinical knowledge who
offers assistance to patients, families, and caregivers to help
overcome healthcare system barriers. An ONN also provides education
and resources to facilitate informed decision making and timely
access to quality health and psychosocial care throughout all
phases of the cancer continuum.
Research has shown that when nurse navigators become
involved early enough after a person has received a cancer
diagnosis, they can help steer patients and their families to
appropriate care and timely treatment that could dramatically
improve patients' chances of living with cancer as a manageable
Penrose Cancer Center currently offers the following oncology nurse navigation support:
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