Patient Advocacy/Empowerment

With National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week (June 15-21, 2023) on the horizon, it is paramount to acknowledge the pivotal role that nurse navigators play in educating and empowering patients and their loved ones—to include fostering candid and transparent conversations about family health history, knowing our bodies, risk reduction, and proactive cancer screenings. As a breast cancer survivor and founder of the Tigerlily Foundation, I am a testament to the profound, lifesaving impact of these conversations. My mother was a nurse, and I often say that she gave me life and saved my life. Here’s how.

As precision medicine testing and treatment options evolve, the complexity of what patients and caregivers need to understand to be active members of their healthcare team has increased dramatically.
You are in a prime position to empower patients to have meaningful communication and involvement in their own care. Here’s how.
Self-reports from patients done monthly or every few months in the doctor’s office have several limitations, including poor recall, underreporting or overreporting of events, among other biases.
The unprecedented time of COVID-19 made oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) ever more valuable to our patients.
Since January 2017, the Sarah Cannon Breast Cancer support group has held monthly meetings for breast cancer patients newly diagnosed, on their treatment journey, and for patients in survivorship.
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