A breast cancer diagnosis is a lot to process.
“It’s definitely a little bit of an emotional roller coaster,” says Adela Smith, a Breast Cancer Navigator with Washington County.
Breast Cancer Navigators provide patients with immediate help after they have been diagnosed.
“I try to be reassuring and just let them know that i’m there for them in any way that they need me,” says Smith.
Adela Smith is one of two breast cancer navigators with the Washington Regional Cancer Support Home.
Navigators provide information on treatment options, links to financial resources, and a hand to hold during appointments.
“Overcoming any barriers there might be from them getting treatment so that they follow through and complete everything that the doctors are recommending that they do,” says Smith.
Smith is currently following the progress of 10 patients and sees an average of four to five new patients a week. Being bilingual, she focuses her attention on the Spanish-speakers who’ve been recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Just because someone has a friend or a family member that can speak English doesn’t mean they understand what the doctor is trying to explain to them,” says Smith.
This resource wouldn’t be possible without Komen Ozark which helps fund Smith’s roles as a navigator for Washington County and a second navigator who caters to Benton County.
“We wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for Komen. If it wasn’t for them we’d see more people dying every day,” says Smith.
To learn more about navigators or get partnered with one, contact the Washington Regional Cancer Support Home.