Original Research

The authors report on the use of technology to reduce the administrative burden of tumor boards while improving the quality of care delivered.
Virtual navigation may be a viable solution to reduce barriers to cancer care and increase patient outcomes, despite geographical location.

The number of people affected by cancer, both individuals diagnosed with the disease and their families and friends, is staggering. Although all individuals are at risk of a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, there has been a remarkable reduction in deaths associated with cancer.

Freeman and Rodriguez define navigation as “a community-based delivery intervention designed to promote access to timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases by eliminating barriers to care.”1

The number of individuals living with cancer is increasing. More than 15.5 million Americans are living with a history of cancer, and approximately 65% of those diagnosed are surviving more than 5 years.

Family caregivers are integral to patient care in oncology, including attending appointments in which care options are discussed or decisions are made. The involvement of caregivers in oncology care will only increase as practice recommendations and policies are encouraging their inclusion. Yet, we do not fully understand the treatment decision-making (TDM) dynamics between patients and their caregivers or the capacity among caregivers to make care decisions. Further, caregivers' communication with a patient or healthcare team (HCT) remains underexplored in understanding shared decision-making.
The authors present their findings from a study testing the effects of an early intervention by the Breast Cancer Navigator on distress.
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