News Release: Cancer Services Announcement, Cancer Nurse Navigators

YELLOWKNIFE (August 2, 2019) – The NTHSSA is pleased to introduce improvements to the Cancer Navigation Program, available to all residents of the NWT. This development aligns with the goals of “Charting Our Course: Northwest Territories Cancer Strategy 2015-2025” to improve patient transitions between stages of the cancer journey, and to enhance support services throughout that journey. These changes are being made with an aim to identify and decrease potential symptoms of distress, leading to improved quality of life for patients and their families as they traverse the cancer continuum. 

A diagnosis of cancer can be very scary, and our Cancer Nurse Navigators can alleviate this feeling by providing support to help patients better understand and prepare for appointments, tests, and treatments.  They can also provide patients with emotional, spiritual or psychological support, and help connect them with other valuable community resources.

Cancer Nurse Navigators are Registered Nurses who work closely with a person diagnosed with cancer, their health care team, and their families, in order to offer assistance and direction through their cancer journey.  Their goal is to guide patients through the health care system, help to expedite access to services and resources, improve continuity and coordination of care, educate and assist with making informed decisions, and connect with resources to ensure they are feeling supported at home.

Our Navigation program in the NWT will focus on patients diagnosed with cancer who reside in the NWT. This includes patients from across the cancer care continuum, including:

  • Persons with a confirmed diagnosis of cancer
  • Persons undergoing treatment for cancer
  • Persons in rehabilitation from cancer
  • Cancer survivor still requiring assistance related to ongoing side-effects
  • Persons with cancer receiving palliative care

Referral to the Cancer Nurse Navigations can be initiated as early as a suspicion of cancer. There are no prerequisites, follow-ups or fees necessary for navigation services. Patients can also self-refer to this program by calling 1-866-313-7989 or emailing


“This augmented service will allow the Cancer Nurse Navigators to reach more patients and implement evidence-based tools into practice. The program will employ a case management approach to services for patients and their families, ensuring they are receiving seamless wraparound services, regardless of their location in the territory.”

- Sue Cullen, Chief Executive Officer of NTHSSA

Quick Facts

  • Previously, Stanton Territorial Hospital employed one Cancer Care Navigator, and now has expanded to include a Territorial Cancer Specialist, and two Cancer Nurse Navigators.
  • Through funding and partnership with the Canadian Partnership against Cancer (CPAC), the supports from the Cancer Nurse Navigators will be provided to all NWT communities.

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Media Contact

David Maguire
Manager, Communications
Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority
TEL: 867-767-9107 ext. 40150