This program offers timely, consistent accessible care to individuals with suspicion of or diagnosis of breast cancer.
Patients registered with this program receive a range of services to determine whether cancer is present and what treatments may be considered. The program's goal is to help patients access services in a timely manner and minimize delays in receiving care. Services are delivered by telephone and include:
- care coordination by nurse navigators who are specialized in breast health and cancer
- coordination of diagnostic tests and other appointments, such as ultrasounds and biopsies for patients with a palpable mass on clinical examination
- patient education to assist with decisions about treatment options
- information regarding which health providers or facilities can provide services in a timely manner
- access to medical breast experts as required for complex cases
- support from clinical social workers for cancer patients
Patients receive quality cancer care as quickly as possible, and the breast nurse navigators help ensure all the important care steps are completed. The patient's family physician is involved all the way through, receiving information about the patient's diagnosis, treatment, progress, and follow-up care. Patients remain in the program until they begin treatment at a cancer centre. Patients are discharged from the program if it is determined they do not have cancer or if they do not need to be monitored further.
The program does not offer routine breast (mammography) screening or breast health concerns without abnormal imaging.