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The Patient Navigator Blog


From advice on specific illnesses to tips on how to communicate with your specialists, there’s a wealth of knowledge on the Patient Navigator blog.

Recent Posts

Cancer

How We Make Medical Decisions


The bewildering sensation of too much information, yet not enough knowledge to use it, is the reality for many people faced with a serious illness or condition. How do you decide what to do?

Cancer

Virtual Colonoscopy – Is It For You?


In a new study led by a physician at the Mayo Clinic’s facility in Phoenix and published in the journal Radiology, the investigators determined that the virtual technique was just as effective for patients over age 65 as those aged 50-65.

Other health issues

Hospital Infections – Stay Safe!


Preventing hospital infections: 1) Wash hands with soap; 2) Clean patient’s skin with antiseptic; 3) put sterile drapes over entire patient; 4) Wear a sterile mask, gown, hat and gloves; 5) put a sterile dressing over the catheter site. Many hospitals fail this test.

Cancer

Informed Consent: Your Rights and Responsibility


Every person has the right to fully participate in decisions regarding his or her own health care. This legal doctrine is called the right to informed consent. As a patient or caregiver, you have the right and responsibility to obtain as much information as you need to be able to commit to a course of treatment or testing process.

Cancer

Cyberchondria – Don’t Let This Happen to You!


“Cyberchondriacs” spend hours at the computer screen, typing in symptoms, or fears, wading through the results, both accurate and inaccurate, and convincing themselves they have a certain condition. Often, they will print out reams of documentation and present themselves to their doctors, having already diagnosed their “condition” and determined a course of treatment.

Cancer

Cancer and Depression


A cancer diagnosis is an emotional earthquake, unleashing fear, anger, sadness, confusion and uncertainty. Depression is a condition that affects many cancer patients at one point or another. In fact, up to 1 in 4 people with cancer do have clinical depression. The good news is that clinical depression can be treated.

Cancer

The Cancer Genome Atlas Project


Scientists have mapped specific genes that turn normal healthy cells into cancerous cells through The Cancer Genome Atlas Project (TCGA). Researchers have now developed a more reliable scientific method to identify these genes. As this research is shared around the world, more accessible and effective cancer treatment options are being discovered. The ultimate goal of the TCGA is to create a catalogue of these “defective” genes, thereby offering increased detection, and ultimately, better prevention and treatment of cancer.

Cancer

Medical Community Issues Guidelines on Caregiving


The Journal of General Internal Medicine recently released ethical guidelines addressing patient, physician, and caregiver relationships. The medical community is increasingly respecting the role of caregivers and offering guidance on how to develop that relationship.

Cancer

Cancer Clinical Trials – What You Should Know


The words “clinical trials” can conjure up images of desperate medical experiments with little hope of success. In reality, medical advances and breakthroughs can and have resulted from clinical trials. Without them, we wouldn’t have many of the treatments we have today.

Caregivers

“Advocates Help Patients Navigate Health Care Maze”


On June 22, NPR reporter Richard Knox aired this story during the “Morning Edition” broadcast.  It was an excellent piece profiling efforts by an individual and a volunteer organization to help patients and families get the care they need to navigate our health care and elder care systems.  Each time the media does a piece on…

Cancer

Lesson 1: Learn the Vocabulary


The doctors and nurses were using words I could not understand.  It was September 19, 1998.  I was in the emergency room of a large hospital in Falls Church, Virginia.  “I’m sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Russell, but your daughter has a brain tumor.”  It was the first time in my life that I fainted.  When…