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Our certified Breast Navigator is here to assist women and men who are going through the diagnostic process or have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She guides those recently diagnosed or in treatment and their families through the healthcare system connecting them with the appropriate resources and support.
The Role of Breast Health Navigator
As a breast health navigator, Shrader's mission is to support patients with and without cancer and help them navigate the complex healthcare system. This may entail calming a nervous mother of three about to have her first mammogram or getting a terminally ill schoolteacher the resources she needs to make appropriate end-of-life decisions. Shrader is clear about her role: "It's your job to ask the question, it's my job to answer it."
Shrader is available to help both women and men, and her job is driven by what the patient needs and wants. "If you want, I'll go to physician appointments and take notes for you so you can actively listen and understand what your physician is saying," Shrader says. She helps patients coordinate care among the multitude of healthcare professionals—primary care physicians, radiologists, general surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, nutritionists and social workers—who may be involved in cancer care.
She'll also visit patients on surgery day to make sure they know exactly what's going on and keep friends and family up to date. Post-surgery and during treatment, she's there to offer advice on where to get a particular bra or buy a wig, and can give information about pain medications.
And for those who may not want her services, Shrader simply hands them a card and lets them know if they need her, she'll be there.