American Cancer Society's Cancer Patient Navigator
In partnership with the American Cancer Society, the Swedish Cancer Institute offers an innovative patient-assistance program called the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator. This service complements the SCI’s full range of integrated cancer-care services, which helps link patients with vital cancerrelated resources in the community.
What is a Patient Navigator?
The American Cancer Society Cancer Patient Navigator is a professional dedicated to helping cancer patients, families and caregivers navigate the many systems needed during diagnosis and treatment.
The service has been in use at a handful of facilities throughout the nation, with Swedish as the first in Washington state to host the program.
Benefits of this service
The patient navigator is available to:
- Provide information and materials on coping with illness and treatment
- Refer patients to support groups, classes and community resources, s appropriate
- Help patients find resources for financial assistance, medication needs, homehealth care, transportation and other concerns
- Help provide patient access to wigs, prosthesis and other cancer-related items
- Identify activities that will help patients achieve better quality of life
- Listen and help cancer survivors learn to self-navigate
- Provide tours of the Swedish Cancer
About our navigator, Shannon Marsh
For Shannon Marsh, our American Cancer Society cancer resource navigator, helping newly diagnosed cancer patients navigate the often-confusing world that occurs after hearing the words “You have cancer” is a personal passion. Shannon’s aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother all died of cancer by their early 40’s. Marsh herself had a rare cancer at the age of 12 and her father passed away from esophageal
cancer at age 64. It was discovered, to no one’s surprise, that Shannon’s family inherited the BRCA2 mutation responsible for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
In 2000, Shannon began helping other women navigate through the tough decisions that come with learning you are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Eventually, in 2003, Shannon left her career as a lawyer and decided to become a cancer research advocate at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center which she eventually left to care for her father, who was treated by Drs. Gold and Mehta here at Swedish.
Becoming a part of the Swedish Cancer Institute was very exciting for Shannon. “The care my father received at Swedish was exceptional and I am so happy to be able to assist patients along their cancer journey. The diagnosis itself is so overwhelming so if I can help connect patients with the resources they need, perhaps the journey will become more manageable.”
Guide to Breast Cancer Resources in the Cmmunity and at Swedish
Patient Navigator, Shannon Marsh reviews the breast cancer resources available in the Seattle community and at Swedish Cancer Institute.
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