Moving the Agenda Forward for Cancer Patient Navigation: Understanding Volunteer and Peer Navigation Approaches
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Across Canada, individuals diagnosed with cancer have identified concerns about access to services before, during, and following treatment, highlighting a very real uncertainty that exists about where to turn for information and assistance. Cancer patient navigation programs are emerging as effective interventions, well-equipped to meet these patients' diverse needs. While many provinces have initiated professionally led navigation services, little is known about the potential for volunteer-led navigation. This article highlights pilot programs in British Columbia, Ontario, and Newfoundland, where volunteers are engaged as lay or peer providers of cancer patient navigation services. By describing the recruitment, training, and role of the navigators within each program, the paper underscores the capacity for unique programs to work within current care frameworks across distinct communities. These programs provide an innovative approach to overcoming barriers and augmenting access to supportive care for cancer patients and their family members.