Inside Navigation

Patient Navigation at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is dedicated to helping improve the quality of life and outcomes for patients facing a cancer diagnosis.

UNC Hospital

What is Patient Navigation?

Patient navigation in cancer care refers to individualized assistance offered to patients, families and caregivers to help overcome barriers to care.  Patient navigation promotes timely, quality care by providing one-on-one guidance and support.   In 1990, Harold Freeman, MD led the patient navigation movement in Harlem.  His early work focused on the needs of African American women living in Harlem and presenting with late stage breast cancer.  His combined intervention of breast cancer screening and patient navigation increased the five-year survival rate from 39% to 70%.  Today, patient navigation has become a widely-accepted patient-centered healthcare service delivery model.