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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.

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Patient Navigators – Who We Are and What We Do


Patient advocacy, or patient navigation, is gaining attention as an emerging profession, both in the media and in the popular lexicon, because it fills so many gaps in the current American health care system. This is especially true today as we continue implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is changing the landscape for consumers in how health care is delivered and paid for in this country.

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.

Cancer

When Lightning Strikes


I received the news last week – two more friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer.   I cried.  This is the fourth friend in less than two years that has been diagnosed with cancer – a diagnosis that is frightening, life-altering and potentially life-ending. This isn’t fair.  Why is this happening? These are all…

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

Bone Marrow Transplant Concerns


People who are multiracial are one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the United States. However, despite donor drives and new efforts to utilize social networking to increase the number of donors, they are also the most under-represented in the marrow registry.

Cancer

Perplexed Pediatrician – Should Mom Worry?


When her son’s pediatrician said she had never heard of the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov), this young mom was blown away. Should she worry about entrusting her son’s care to a doctor who has never heard of this world-famous institution? Comments invited.

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

Enjoy Your Valentine’s Chocolate!


Research has shown that dark chocolate improves blood vessel functioning, thus lowering blood pressure, taking stress off your heart and helping your blood circulate more efficiently. Dark chocolate also has antioxidant qualities, which come from flavonoids found in cocoa. So on Valentine’s Day, nothing says “I love you” like some delicious, dark chocolate

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

Investigational Drug Therapies – FDA Changes


Access to investigational therapies is a highly debated topic in the medical world.  Investigational therapy involves drugs that are being scientifically tested but not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Often these drugs are offered through programs such as “compassionate use programs,” and “expanded access programs” to allow seriously ill patients access…

Cancer

We All Carry Cancer Cells


We all have cancer cells in our bodies. The good news is that, for most of us, our body’s natural defenses know how to defeat these defective, tumor-causing cells, and they never get the chance to grow up into a full-blown cancer. Whether you’ve had cancer or not, any person who wants to improve their chances of avoiding cancer should read Dr. David Servan-Schreiber’s very important book called “Anti-Cancer – A New Way of Life.”

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.

Cancer

Cancer Survivorship – Beating Your Cancer and Living Your Life


I am encouraged – most of the people I know who have had cancer have beaten their disease and become cancer survivors.  They struggled through the chemotherapy, the radiation treatment, surgery, physical and emotional upheavals and come out on the other side.  It is a time of celebration and elation. But then the reality of…