Last modified: February 15, 2024
Quick Facts
  • certificate with a ribbon icon below
    • Bachelor’s in Nursing
    • Master’s in Business Administration
  • membership card and identification icon

    academy of oncology nurse and patient navigators

  • plus sign in a circle icon
    • Mesothelioma
    • Health Effects of Asbestos
    • Cancer Treatment
    • Immunotherapy
  • icon of a person inside of circle
    Author Profiles:

About Karen

Karen Selby is a registered nurse and a Patient Advocate at The Mesothelioma Center.

She became a registered nurse in 1991 and immediately applied her skills in the operating room, strictly working with thoracic surgery from 1991-97 at the University of Maryland.

Karen has assisted surgeons with lung resections, lung transplants, pneumonectomies, pleurectomies, wedge resections and lung oncology, among other lung-related surgeries. She also ran the tissue procurement program at the University of Florida and handled tissue procurement for all donors.

She received her bachelor’s in nursing in 1996 from the University of South Alabama and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Florida in 1999. She is also a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators.

Karen joined The Mesothelioma Center in 2009. Her extensive background helps her recognize that all patients are different and have their own set of unique needs. Her goal is to determine how she can best help each patient and give them the tools to fight cancer.

Karen helped launch the Mesothelioma Center’s Community Outreach program in 2022. Outside of work, she rides with one of the oldest bicycle racing teams in Central Florida — the Orlando Velo Cycling Team, which was founded in 1989. sponsors her team, which competes nearly every weekend. Her cycling days actually began in Baltimore when her roommate piqued her interested in triathlons in 1986.

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  • The staff at has been extremely helpful, especially Karen Selby. I feel like I can call her with any questions, of which I have had many, since my sister was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma.
    Sister of mesothelioma patient
  • Karen is excellent about reaching out and giving help when you let her know you need something. She has called me more than once and is a wonderful, supportive person.
    Eileen B.
  • was almost the first contact I made when diagnosed six years ago. They have been there to answer questions and provide resources over all that time. Karen Selby has remained a constant, and I value her insight more than she will ever know.
    Emily Ward
    Mesothelioma survivor
  • I am forever grateful to Karen for her compassion and huge wealth of information. While it is an extremely difficult time for my family, having her walk beside us through the process has been more than comforting. I am forever grateful that such a center exists and that someone with Karen's abilities is available to help families who are facing this diagnosis.
    Cathie R.
  • Karen was and still is my lifeline. Without Karen, I am not sure my husband would still be here. She provided me with so much information along with help in the various ways too numerous to even mention. Thank you to all who are there to help us.
    Gloria R.
    Wife of mesothelioma patient
  • I spoke to Karen yesterday because I had a few questions for my sister, who was diagnosis in May of 2018. I am very glad there is a resource for caregivers like this. It is all so new and you simply don't know which way to go. Karen has been quite patient with me, allowing me the time I need to absorb a lot of the information she sent me and to start to accept a lot of this. I am very thankful.
    Susan P.
    Sister of mesothelioma patient
  • The Mesothelioma Cancer Center is an amazing resource. They have a lot of great information online [and that they mail out] that helped me get educated very quickly about this rare cancer, once I learned of my father's diagnosis 18 months ago. I frequently talk, text and email with Karen, who is a nurse and patient advocate. She has been incredibly supportive, informative and helpful at answering my questions, helping us find meso-experienced oncologists near my parent's home, telling us about newly available treatment options and clinical trials, and keeping in touch with us as we go through this difficult journey. And all of this has been available at no cost to us. This is not an easy cancer to deal with, but I've found it very reassuring to have The Mesothelioma Center's support at every step along the way.
    David W.
    Son of mesothelioma patient
  • I personally believe that, had it not been for [Karen’s] help, we might never have found out Dad’s true diagnosis of mesothelioma.
    Sherry P.
    Daughter of mesothelioma patient