Oncology Nurse Navigators and Oncology Patient Navigators

Male patient speaking with nutritionalist

A cancer diagnosis and potential treatments can be overwhelming. At Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, we have navigators to offer you support and guidance at any point throughout your care here. Whether you have a new cancer diagnosis or the cancer came back, our navigators can help make sure you are set up with the appropriate providers for support and guidance.

All navigators have extensive oncology experience and are able to assess your needs and help with any challenges that may exist. 

Navigator's Role

Navigators work closely with you and your oncology team to:

Access Care and Coordinate Appointments

Navigators can help you access care at Penn Medicine. We can help assess what you need whether you have a new cancer diagnosis or are seeking a second opinion for other treatment options. We will help schedule appointments with the appropriate provider(s), have you see them in the right order and provide you information ahead of time about appointments.

Provide Information on What to Expect in the Days Ahead 

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis and uncertainty can be overwhelming. It can be helpful to talk to a navigator to help plan ahead. We can provide you information about what to expect at appointments, questions to ask your providers and what the treatment process or side effects look like for upcoming treatments.

Access Additional Supportive Resources

Navigators are part of your medical team as well as a team in Patient and Family Services. We can make referrals to social workers, dietitians, counseling or psychiatry, PT/OT, integrative medicine, financial counseling or a number of programs to support you. These supportive resources can be very beneficial to complement your medical treatment.

Facilitate Communication

With multiple providers involved in your care, sometimes it’s hard to know who to call with what information or how to make sense of your treatment plan. Navigators can help relay and obtain information among your providers to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Support You in Decision-Making

With a cancer diagnosis, there are many decisions to make: Where should you get treatment? Which surgery or treatment should you have? Should you do a clinical trial? What does each option look like? Our navigators can help you weigh options and provide education or information to help you make the best and most informed decision for yourself.

Find a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials can be a great opportunity for patients to access the newest advances in cancer care. Penn Medicine offers trials for patients with all types and stages of cancer.

Answer Questions About Your Plan of Care

You may have received a lot of information from your providers. Navigators have access to your chart and can help review what was discussed with you and can get any additional questions answered by your team. 

Provide Educational Materials

We live in an information age, but that being said it is important to seek relevant and quality information. Our navigators can direct you to resources available for your specific diagnosis and questions.