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Navigating Patients with 2 Cancers

July 15, 2019 | What Would Lillie Do?

Name: Thiel
Position: Nurse Navigator
Subject: Information (ie, newsletter) we can send to our patients on their disease state

Question:
Can our association produce a newsletter that we can send to our patients twice a month on their disease state (eg, breast or lung cancer)?

Answer:
I’m not sure what you mean by “association.” If you are referring to AONN+, then the patient education piece is CONQUER: the patient voice. It is readily available to patients, initially through you, and ongoing if the patient mails in the postcard inside CONQUER.

However, if you mean your particular cancer facility, then that is a decision to be made by your internal team, especially your marketing and communications department. It is an expensive endeavor to provide printed educational information to patients.


Name: Ann
Position: Nurse Navigator
Subject: Dual primary navigation

Question:
Hi! How do you manage patients with 2 cancers?

Answer:
When a patient is dealing with 2 primary cancers (thankfully it is rare, but does occur), usually the more serious cancer is given priority because it likely will be treated more aggressively. However, if the patient has a serious advanced cancer (such as advanced pancreatic cancer) and a less significant cancer (such as noninvasive breast cancer), then nothing at all may be done with the noninvasive disease, recognizing that it will not be a contributor to the patient’s death. One of the most important things, however, from a pathology perspective, is to ensure that the 2 cancers―whatever organ sites they may involve―are truly 2 primary cancers (eg, lung and glioblastoma) and not 1 primary cancer that has spread to another organ, making it just 1 type of cancer that has metastasized (ie, lung cancer that has spread to the brain).


Name: Debbie
Position: Administrator
Subject: Insurance navigator

Question:
Hi! I am in the process of creating a job description for an insurance navigator. I am wondering if AONN+ can help to provide some resources to build this job description, or are there any AONN+ members who have experience with insurance navigation in their facility whom I could contact?

Answer:
It is going to depend on the functions of this individual. Insurance companies are increasingly using the term “navigator” when, in fact, it really may refer to a utilization management nurse. Please provide me with the goals and objectives of the position so I can better help you.

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