Sentara Martha Jefferson HealthWise: Breast Health Nurse Navigator
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A cancer diagnosis can be a scary thing, but Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital offers resources to ensure that patients know they are not alone when going through treatment.
Jessica Cooper is the breast health navigator at Sentara MJH. In her role, she helps men and women diagnosed with breast cancer from their first abnormal mammogram, to their transition into survivorship.
"I answer all their questions about their diagnosis, their treatments, and then connect them to any local internal or external resources to make sure everything is taken care of," Cooper said.
She functions as a guide during a difficult time in a person's life. Cooper works with clinical social workers, financial counselors, dieticians, and any other resources that would make sure the whole patient is taken care of during their journey.
"My role as just that, navigator to help make sure the patient gets everything they need to ensure the best care for their breast cancer," she said. "Anything that the patient may need, just to know that I am there, and there is one person to turn to."
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one in eight women or one in 833 men will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. But Sentara MJH's Breast Health Nurse Navigator is there to answer questions and make a tough time more manageable.
"It's totally understandable that it's a very stressful time, but I do want people to know that my role is here to help decrease that stress and just walk them through step by step and day by day," Cooper said.
Sentara Martha Jefferson is encouraging people to get checked, either through a self-check or through a mammogram. Women 45 and older are recommended to get a mammogram every year, and women have the option to start getting yearly mammograms at age 40.
"That's the whole goal of mammography is to catch those breast cancers when they're super early and not being detected by just feeling, the majority of breast cancers that we catch are stage 1 or stage 2," Cooper said.
If breast cancer is detected, patients at Sentara MJH will always have someone to whom they can turn.
"I would like the patients to know that they're never alone, that there's always someone here to call, to ask the little questions, just to talk to, just to be there to support them no matter what," Cooper said.
To learn more about breast care at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, click here.