Patients that shift from pediatric oncology to adult oncology may become overwhelmed with the transition to adult care. Young adult cancer survivors often have ongoing health complications related to cancer treatment, called late effects, which may occur years after treatment ends. This may require many young adult survivors to make important treatment decisions that require careful consideration.
The goal of this presentation is to educate nurse navigators on the challenges these patients will face as they transition to adult oncology. It will focus on the importance of the nurse navigator role within a multidisciplinary team for adult and young adolescent survivors, and review the following:
- Overview of the concerns young adult cancer survivors face
- The core needs of young adult cancer survivorship such as potential ongoing maintenance, fertility questions, monitoring and risk reduction
- Resources for both cancer navigators and their patients
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Natia Esiashvili, MD
Natia Esiashvili, MD, serves as Chief Quality Officer in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. A board certified radiation oncologist, Dr. Esiashvili specializes in the treatment of complex pediatric cancers and hematological malignancies in adults, and sees patients at Winship Cancer Institute and Emory Proton Therapy Center. In addition, Dr. Esiashvili is involved in using radiotherapy as a component of the bone marrow transplantation program. She is also co-leader of the Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Program at Winship.
Dr. Esiashvili serves as president of the Pediatric Radiation Oncology Society where she also served on an executive committee leading programs for low- and middle-income countries worldwide. As a field expert, she has spoken at a number of national and international conferences and participated in committees and working groups charged with developing treatment guidelines, clinical trials and late effects screening guidelines.
Dr. Esiashvili is a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. Additionally, she holds memberships with the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American College of Radiology, Children's Oncology Group, and Pediatric Radiation Oncology Society, among others.
Mary Batcha, RN, BSN
Mary Batcha, RN, BSN, is the coordinator of the Young Adult Cancer Survivor Program at Winship. In this role, Mrs. Batcha serves as the point of contact for coordinating long-term follow up for young adult survivors of pediatric cancers. A majority of the referrals are from the Cancer Survivor Program at the Aflac Cancer Center at Scottish Rite, as well as self referrals.
Mrs. Batcha has been employed by Emory Healthcare since 1989. Her roles have ranged from bedside nursing on the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) floor, to BMT Coordinator and Nursing Supervisor in the Department of Radiation Oncology. She has been the Young Adult Cancer Survivor (YACS) Coordinator since 2009. Her various roles with oncology patients have allowed her to apply her clinical and navigation experience with coordinating the proper tests and referrals for the YACS population. She ensures that each patient's long term guidelines are followed so that all the appropriate testing and specialist referrals are made. She also aids them in seeking out additional resources for financial, disability, neuro-psychological, and support groups. She also helps navigate new patient referrals for pediatric patients in the Department of Radiation Oncology.