background_fid.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
We’re in our Fall Fundraiser and you can help! Support KSMU programming today!

Breast Cancer Navigator Program Offers Support to Breast Cancer Patients

A new program at CoxHealth gives support to patients who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more…

43-year-old Chris Hamilton went for her annual mammogram late last summer, never expecting anything to be wrong. But in August she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was caught early—one area was Stage 1 and the other hadn’t advanced even that far yet…

"

Within 48 hours of her diagnosis, Hamilton received a call from Laura Bowles. The self-described people person had just started her position as breast cancer navigator not long before. Hamilton says she was pleasantly surprised to learn about the new program at Cox…

"

Bowles says as soon as someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, she contacts them...

"

Bowles stays in contact with the patients thru every step of their cancer treatment, helping them with things like finding their surgeon’s office and where to go to get their MRI. She often goes along on the patient’s first visit to their surgeon…

"

Hamilton had a large support network in the form of family and friends, but she still relied on the support that Bowles offered…

"

Hamilton says Bowles went with her to some of her doctor’s appointments and helped with contact information. She says she held her hand whenever she needed it.So far, Bowles says she’s been able to help around 136 people so far who have been diagnosed with breast cancer—mostly women, but also a couple of men. She says at Cox, around 300 to 350 cases of breast cancer are identified each year. Some people decide they don’t need the help of a breast cancer navigator, but Bowles says most people are grateful for the support.She develops relationships with the patients andsays her new position helps make a difficult situation easier for them…

"

The creation of a breast cancer navigator is another step in CoxHealth’s efforts to make its breast cancer center a center of excellence. She hopes that someday there will be a navigator for every type of cancer diagnosis.Meanwhile, Chris Hamilton is now cancer free, and visits her oncologist every three months. She has a message for all women…Chris4For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.