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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Those patients are going to do much better: Cancer patient navigators

Grace Stachlinski said she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October. She had surgery and is currently having radiation treatments.

"She told me if there was ever anything I needed to let her know and she'd be on top of it," Grace said of her patient navigator, Stacey Huber, at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Huber said that patients don't know what their issues and needs are until they're faced with cancer.

"Transportation and financial support are two of our biggest concerns, but there are organizations out there who offer grants," Huber said.

Huber said she helps patients obtain and fill out the proper paperwork. Mercy radiologist Dr. Maria Jacobs said it can make a difference in a patient's outcome.

"Because that helps with compliance of daily treatments. Patients who get radiation daily five days a week for six weeks can complete their course of treatment. Those patients are going to do much better," Dr. Jacobs said.

Patients will have to qualify for those programs, but the patient navigator can help figure that out as well, Huber said.

Advice to cancer patients:
Get the help of a patient advocate or navigator.

Browse for similar stories in our index at the very bottom of this page, or read a cancer survivor story.

Thanks to WBAL-TV Baltimore for the source story.

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