National Cancer Institute   U.S. National Institutes of Heath
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Patient Navigator

The overall goals of the Radiation Oncology Patient Navigator Program, working as part of the Cancer Disparities Research Partnership Program (CDRP) and the NCI Navigator (NAVCOM) Program are to:

  • Reduce cancer incidence and mortality and improve the quality of life of people with cancer in health disparities regions through limited participation in reduction of high dropout from radiation oncology and multidisciplinary clinical research trials;
  • Provide culturally targeted education;
  • Provide access to early screening, diagnosis and treatment; and
  • Provide assistance and "navigation" through the complexities and barriers of the health care system.

The Patient Navigator is designed to assist patients with abnormal findings or cancer in navigating and, at times, circumnavigating the hospital and human services bureaucracies. Specifically, the Patient Navigator would:

  • Provide psycho-social support
  • Assist with treatment decision making
  • Develop relationships with the community and service providers
  • Assist with insurance
  • Inform patients of services and resources
  • Coordinate transportation
  • Increase health awareness in individuals
  • Coordinate services
  • Track interventions and outcomes
  • Build relationships with other Patient Navigators
  • Initiate communication with patients before screening and diagnostic procedures/treatments