A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming — even more so if you must face it alone. That’s why Ellis Fischel Cancer Center offers an extended support network as part of its team approach to cancer care.

As a patient, you not only will have a team of doctors on your side, but you will also have “navigators” who will help you with the everyday details of your journey. We have two kinds of navigators — nurse navigators and patient navigators — whose jobs are to assist patients diagnosed with certain cancers.

Nurse navigator

A nurse navigator is a licensed nurse who works with patients from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. Our nurse navigators have worked with patients for many years and are very knowledgeable about the cancers they treat.

They answer clinical questions about cancer care and treatments in addition to any questions related to the timeline of treatment. They serve as a health advocate for patients and also work with patients to develop personalized survivorship plans so our patients can live their lives to fullest after cancer treatment.

Nurse navigators also can provide referrals to other resources such as social workers, dietitians or cancer rehabilitation services.

Patient navigator

Patient navigators work with patients on day-to-day activities such as scheduling appointments and completing paperwork. They can also help with transportation to and from appointments, financial needs, and emotional support — not only for the patient, but also for the patient’s family.

Patient navigators see their patients while they’re receiving treatment and stay with our patients throughout their treatment into survivorship.

Our navigators work closely with one another to make sure all of the patient’s needs are met, and they coordinate with the patient’s care team — doctors and other specialists — to ensure everyone is on the same page.