October brings shorter days, cooler temperatures and falling leaves. It also brings awareness to breast cancer, a disease impacting millions of women each year. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and you’ve probably noticed pink ribbons appearing all over – on your favorite products, around your favorite stores and even on the uniforms of your favorite NFL teams.
Breast Cancer Impacts One in Eight Women
One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. You may have a friend, neighbor or family member who is affected by breast cancer. Breast cancer may be directly impacting your life. A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming, but what if you knew that someone would be there with you throughout your cancer journey supporting you and your loved ones along the way?
Oncology Nurse Navigators
At Bryan, specially trained nurses such as myself help patients diagnosed with all types of cancer through each step of their cancer journey. We’re called oncology (cancer) nurse navigators, and we are experienced oncology nurses here to serve as your guide, advocate, educator, resource and liaison through all aspects of treatment.
Oncology nurse navigators at Bryan will:
- Provide you with the information you need to make informed decision about your cancer care
- Help you understand all of your treatment options specific to your diagnosis and the stage of your cancer
- Coordinate appointments, test and referrals for other services to help you
- Communicate with all of your providers about your treatment plan and follow up
- Identify potential barriers to care and provide resources to ensure you receive the best and most timely care possible
- Provide emotional support and understanding to you and your family
- Serve as a continuous point of contact for you and your family, throughout your cancer care
Bryan oncology nurse navigators help ensure patients are knowledgeable about options to receive personalized, individual care based on their needs. They also help coordinate various activities related to care such as: helping with insurance, finding rides to treatment, finding doctors, and making referrals to expert resources. Our goal is to be your guiding light through a difficult time.
The Positive Impacts of Working with an Oncology Nurse Navigator
I have worked with many patients who have been positively impacted by having an oncology nurse navigator by their side, working as their advocate. Receiving such support can make a difference in the way you feel about your cancer care. Research shows patients with a nurse navigator have fewer problems because they felt more involved with their care, more informed and better prepared for the future.
Today, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, let me be your guide–we’ll take this journey together.
Early Detection is Key
Mammography is the best screening tool for breast cancer available today. Research shows annual mammograms lead to early detection of breast cancers. Early detection is the key to treating cancer when it is most curable. If you meet the following, I highly encourage you to speak to your healthcare provider about getting a mammogram:
- Women age 40 and older should have mammograms every year; a doctor’s order is required for a mammogram
- Women experiencing symptoms of breast cancer such as suspicious tissue, a breast lump, nipple discharge or dimpling of the skin on one area of the breast
- Women with a family history of breast cancer, especially in family members younger than age 40
A screening only takes a few minutes. Do it for yourself, and for those who love you.
Bryan Health Mammography Services
Do you need information on mammography services and breast cancer care?
Joanna Morgan, MSN, RN, OCN
Joanna Morgan, MSN, RN, is an Oncology Nurse Navigator with Bryan Health.