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MARSHA SCHMIT: The role of a breast care navigator

Published on | Eric Brown

When a woman finds out she has breast cancer, in many cases she needs someone to “hold her hand” through this unanticipated and frightening journey into the unknown. Women face a confusing maze of questions and often become overwhelmed very quickly. As physicians, we do our best to provide as much support and information as possible, but often we rely on a breast cancer navigator to fill in the gap for us to make sure patients have the resources they need throughout their entire cancer journey. A breast cancer navigator literally helps patients navigate the seemingly endless barrage of medical appointments, tests and treatments. They provide an invaluable service for breast cancer patients.

Breast care navigators guide patients through their entire journey – from diagnosis, surgery and treatment, to life after treatment. They educate, advocate, provide resources and support, help with financial and insurance-related problems, resolve issues and remove obstacles patients face along the way – from understanding their diagnosis, to telling family members about their illness, answering questions about insurance coverage, or finding the right post op bra. 

During The Breast of Everything podcast, Marsha Schmit, RN, breast care navigator at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, talks in depth about the role of a breast care navigator and the services she offers patients. She knows from experience what it is like to navigate a breast cancer journey. Marsha is a 12-year breast cancer survivor.

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If you have a subject you would like the surgeons to discuss, please email your ideas to https://compbreastcare.com. The doctors want to hear from you! The views, thoughts and opinions shared in “The Breast of Everything” podcasts are intended for general educational and informational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice, treatment or care from your physician or health care provider. Always consult your health care provider first.


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