Let's face it. A diagnosis of breast cancer is likely to shake you to your core. Do I need a surgeon? An oncologist? How do I even go about finding one, and figuring out what else I need?
With our breast cancer nurse navigator, you don't have to worry about any of these things.
Your breast cancer nurse navigator is your partner through treatment and aftercare. Our navigators are experienced oncology nurses – not program aides – who use their years of experience and expertise in the cancer field to help you every step of the way.
Then your navigator will:
Schedule all of your necessary appointments.
Instead of giving you a list of physicians and phone numbers to call for appointments, your navigator will do all of that for you, including tests, imaging studies, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Then she'll give you a schedule for your appointments. We want you to be able to sit back and take care of yourself, and not worry about scheduling.
Throughout your treatment, your navigator will keeping checking in with you to make sure everything is on track.
Answer your questions.
Our breast cancer navigators have guided hundreds of woman through treatment and survivorship, so they're ready to answer – and sometimes even anticipate – your questions. At your initial meeting, your navigator will provide you with their phone number and email so you can contact them when you have a question or just need to talk.
They'll also give you a book about breast cancer that's written in easy to understand language, along with illustrations, to give you a more complete grasp of your journey and what you'll be going through. It's designed to take away some of the fear you might have when you hear the words "breast cancer."
Set you up with oncology dieticians.
Our oncology dieticians provide nutritional counseling that will help support your immune system as your body fights the cancer, as well as lessen the side effects of treatment. Learn more about how our oncology dieticians can help you.
Schedule appointments with oncology social workers.
Our social workers can help you with information about transportation to your appointments, coping strategies and how to plan and prepare for the experience of cancer treatment. They know each patient is unique – some may have concerns about their work while others have questions about taking care of their families.
They can also help answer questions about finances, which can be difficult to understand with all of the insurance changes. Learn more about how our oncology social workers can help you.
Guide you to support groups and classes.
Sharing your experience with others going through the same battle can be a big help. We partner with Cancer Lifeline to offer a wide range of classes and support groups at the Halvorson Cancer Center for you, your family and your caregivers. You can also attend a cooking class in our spacious demonstration kitchen and get new recipes that are both immunity building and delicious.
Explain resources available in the Cancer Resource Center.
New and gently-used wigs, along with head coverings, can be found at The Boutique. Other helpful products are available in the Silver Gift Shop, located at the Halvorson Cancer Center. Learn more about the services available at the Cancer Resource Center.
Your navigator’s help and guidance doesn't end when your treatment does. She will remain an important point of contact for you, as long as you need her, even if it's just to talk.
Among the aftercare services they offer:
Information about prosthetics or breast restoration.
If you’ve had a mastectomy and are interested in breast reconstruction surgery, your navigator can set you up with a surgeon at EvergreenHealth. Reconstruction can take place during your mastectomy, or later in your recovery.
Specialized rehabilitation resources.
Should lymphedema be a side effects of your treatment, your navigator can refer you to the lymphedema program at EvergreenHealth Rehabilitation Services. Our certified lymphedema therapists are trained in massage techniques, bandaging and exercises and have specialized equipment to reduce your discomfort. Learn more about lymphedema therapy.
Your survivorship care plan.
This is a comprehensive summary of your treatments, when they occurred, all your provider information, names of drugs and medications, along with specific therapies that were tailored for you. That means you will always have that information at your fingertips when you see other healthcare providers in the future.
Our breast cancer nurse navigators can be reached by phone, email or in person for any questions you might have, or just to talk.
They are available to anyone with a breast cancer diagnosis, even if the diagnosis was made somewhere else. You just need to call the nurse navigator phone line at (425) 899-5555 to get started; no physician referral is needed.