Cancer Navigation Program

Centra Health

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Cancer Navigation Program

"I liken a cancer diagnosis to being dropped off in a foreign country where you don't know the lay of the land, you don't know the key players, and you don't know how to communicate. As navigators, we get to come alongside our patients and guide and navigate them through this new land, this new journey that they're embarking on." - Kara Lamb, Breast Cancer Navigator

A cancer diagnosis leaves patients overwhelmed, afraid, and often confused about the various treatment options available to them. Centra oncology nurse navigators are there to guide our patients and their loved ones by acting as a liaison between patients and their care teams and  by helping to coordinate care from diagnosis to treatment and recovery. Centra’s nurse navigators for breast, GYN, lung, head and neck, brain, genitourinary, gastrointestinal, and prostate cancers all provide education, support, and assistance to our patients and their support systems throughout the spectrum of cancer care.

Our oncology nurse navigators are bachelor’s degree educated, registered nurses, certified in oncology, and members of the Oncology Nursing Society

You can contact your nurse navigator by calling 434.200.4512. 

How We Can Help

Our navigators work closely with your overall support team of doctors,  nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers, therapists, and hospice caregivers as needed, in order to make the treatment journey less complicated. 

Centra Cancer Nurse Navigators are able to:

  • Help patients and families understand the specific diagnosis and treatment options
  • Provide educational materials to each patient at the time of diagnosis
  • Provide support for the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs during and after the patient’s illness
  • Provide resource materials for assistance from local and national organizations
  • Ensure patients are presented at Centra’s multidisciplinary tumor board so that patients have a team-based approach to their care
  • Provide pre/postoperative teaching and support
  • Answer any questions or concerns throughout the journey
  • Schedule appointments as needed
  • Accompany patients to their appointments and consults as needed
  • Make rounds on patients
  • Provide outreach programs and health fair displays in the community
  • Facilitate local support groups*


*Oncology nurse navigators facilitate support groups for breast and prostate cancer patients, and the oncology social worker facilitates a general support group for patients with cancer at any stage.