Health & Well-Being

Social and Emotional Support: The Missing Link in Cancer Care

In 2019, more than 31,000 of our North Texas neighbors’ lives changed instantly when they heard three dreaded words: “You have cancer.”

From the moment of diagnosis, everything changes; life becomes a rollercoaster ride of treatment plans and doctor visits.

But there’s a missing link in cancer care: a patient’s emotional and psychological “treatment plan.”

Imagine going to work one morning, being diagnosed with cancer that afternoon, and then beginning chemotherapy the next day. You’re suddenly too weak to work, to take your kids to school, to do much of anything. You’re scared — not only for your life, but also about your ability to pay bills and keep your life moving forward. Your life changes in an instant, yet you’re left navigating this frightening maze, often without the funds, support, or know-how to do it.

The reality is that everyone diagnosed with cancer faces two challenges: a medical one, and an emotional/social one. What physicians and patients alike are increasingly recognizing is that addressing both are equally important. In fact, research shows that people who have the best success surviving — and thriving — after cancer are those that address both. Success centers on treating the whole person.

This is the impetus for the creation of the National Cancer Support Community in 1991, and Cancer Support Community North Texas (CSCNT) — the local affiliate — here, in 2002.

At three warm, inviting clubhouse locations across DFW — in Collin, Tarrant, and Dallas counties — CSCNT is here to help these cancer patients and their families when they need support the most. CSCNT serves all cancer patients, past and present, and their loved ones at no cost to the individual. Last year alone, CSCNT served more than 5,200 of those affected by cancer.

Elements of Support

We believe in these key elements of support: healing, human connections, meaningful social engagement, and hope — because life after a cancer diagnosis is possible.

At each location, CSCNT aims to provide all of this through support groups, networking groups, childcare, healthy living workshops, yoga and meditation, one-on-one counseling, and help for families.

“Just Walk Through the Red Door”

At every clubhouse location, patients and their caregivers will see a welcoming red door.

The intent is to show people that this is their home for support and any other aspects of the cancer journey that are so often overlooked.

CSCNT asks that people just walk through the door. Our team will take it from there, exploring whatever a person’s individual needs and wants are.

Our Commitment

As part of the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, CSCNT is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.

Thanks to our partners, including Texas Health Resources, Texas Oncology, and many others, Cancer Support Community North Texas is growing and demonstrating why social and emotional support must be part of our cancer treatment “prescription.” For more information, visit


Mirchelle Louis

Mirchelle Louis, LCSW, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Support Community North Texas. Originally from South Africa, Mirchelle has a bachelor's degree from the University of Cape Town and then moved to the U.S., where she earned a Master of Science degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. After working at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, she saw the need for thoughtful, structured psychological and emotional support for cancer patients and their caregivers, which led to her take the helm of CSCNT in 2006.

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