Healthcare GPS: Patient Navigators

August 15, 2011 9:55:06 AM PDT
Being diagnosed with cancer can be overwhelming. Now think how much more difficult it would be if your doctor spoke a different language.

BACKGROUND: According to the US Census Bureau, 45.5 million Americans, or 15 percent of the total U.S. population, identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino in 2007. Cancers for which rates are higher in Hispanics include stomach, cervix, liver, acute lymphocytic leukemia, and gallbladder. Language barrier has been a bug issue when it comes to a cancer diagnosis. The presence of patient navigation can be effective to remove barriers that limit the access to care in minority populations and can improve outcomes in Hispanic patients suffering from cancer. (Source:

PROMOTORAS (PATIENT NAVIGATORS): In 2005, The National Cancer Institute awarded $25 million in 5-year grants to eight research institutions across the country. The goal was to develop innovative Patient Navigator Research Programs (PNRP) to help minorities and underserved cancer patients. Patient navigators help patients and their families manage cancer diagnoses and overcome barriers to obtaining timely and appropriate cancer care and treatment. The program focuses on four cancers for which screening tests are available: breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal. (SOURCE:

THE FOCUS: The program focuses on cancer patients from racial/ethnic minority groups, patients with low socioeconomic status, and patients from medically underserved areas. (SOURCE:

LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION: The Lance Armstrong Foundation recently launched a Spanish version of the website to provide Spanish information on the common physical, emotional day-to-day concerns of Hispanic/Latino cancer survivors. also provides a path for survivors to connect with LiveStrong's free cancer survivor support services, along with one-on-one counseling services and help with financial, employment or insurance concerns. Plus, there is information about treatment options and connecting to new treatments in development.(SOURCE:

For More Information, Contact:

Cliff Despres
Communications Manager
The Institute for Health Promotion Research,
(210) 562-6517

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