Our Mission & Vision
The mission of Cancer Support Community East Tennessee is that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. Our vision is that no one faces cancer alone.
How We Help
We provide a community for those facing cancer to support each other under the guidance of professional staff. Our programs, all free of charge, offer cancer patients and their loved ones ways to actively participate in the management of their health and well-being.
CSCET services include weekly and monthly support groups, educational workshops on managing cancer, health and wellness classes and opportunities to connect socially with others facing cancer. Check out our full calendar of free programs here.
Our programs were developed to offer options to cancer patients and their caregivers/loved ones to improve their physical and mental function, educate about stress reduction techniques and encourage engagement in behaviors necessary to manage illness and promote health and a sense of hope for the future.
One aspect that sets CSCET programming apart from other local cancer support resources is that they are professionally facilitated. Licensed therapists at CSCET are continually working to maintain extremely high levels of competence and knowledge while working with those affected by cancer. According to the oncology research of Barbara Andersen, MD, at the Ohio State University, risk of cancer recurrence and death from cancer can be lowered when an individual participates in programs aimed at decreasing stress, increasing exercise, learning about cancer, and improving healthy eating habits. All programs and services offered as CSCET are rooted in the principles from Dr. Andersen’s research, which shows that programs and services focused on psychosocial needs, like the ones offered as CSCET, can reduce cancer recurrence by 45%, risk of death by 56% and risk of death following a recurrence by 59%.
At CSCET, people affected by cancer are able to unite together, under the guidance of trained professionals, to face their diagnosis in a compassionate, supportive environment.
Cancer Support Community East Tennessee, originally known as The Wellness Community Knoxville, opened its doors on January 2, 1990, thanks to our late founders Rachael Young, Robert Young, and Lindsay Young. Rachael, a cancer survivor, was determined to bring The Wellness Community to Knoxville after hearing the founder, Harold Benjamin, PhD, speak at a cancer workshop in Santa Monica, California.
Dr. Benjamin founded The Wellness Community on the concept that cancer patients and family members should partner with their health care team and take an active role in the healing process. He also believed that those affected by cancer provide invaluable information, support, and hope to one another when coming together in community. Complementary cancer care is now seen as “an integral and necessary component of quality cancer care” by The Institute of Medicine in its groundbreaking report Cancer Care for the Whole Patient.
In 2009, The Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club Worldwide united to form Cancer Support Community, a global network of 52 affiliates and more than 100 offsite and satellite locations worldwide.
In 2020, we will celebrate 30 years of service in East Tennessee. In 2018, 894 unique individuals (men, women and children) affected by cancer in Knoxville and the surrounding area participated in our programming, making over 5,612 visits to the 917 programs we offered. For the past several years, we have had a steady growth of approximately 5% annually. In 2018, we saw a 15% increase in the number of people served and a 21% increase in first time visitors compared to 2017.
We are honored to serve those in our community living with the challenges of cancer. We can take on cancer together!