Support services


A diagnosis of cancer can trigger fear, confusion and a sense of isolation.

But the ETMC Cancer Institute answers by offering the patient and family members a comprehensive program of support services. They give strength to those fighting cancer by helping them connect with others who are walking the same path. The connection may be psychological, emotional, social or spiritual, but it always carries the same message: We can get through this together.

Please know you are welcome to ask your physician, patient navigator, nurse or other ETMC healthcare professional about any of the following support services:

  • Cancer support group (Tyler) – This group for patients and family members meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the ETMC Cancer Institute Conference Room, 721 Clinic Drive, Tyler. For information: 903-595-5550.
  • Cancer support group (Athens) – This group for patients and family members meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at ETMC Athens, 2000 S. Palestine. For information: 903-592-6152, ext. 121.
  • Crafters – An activity for patients and family members. Meets on the second floor of the ETMC Cancer Institute in Tyler. For information: 903-531-8199.
  • Ostomy support group – Meets on the second Sunday of each month (except May and December) at 2:00 p.m. at Hospice of East Texas, 411 Spur 248, Tyler. For information: or 903-330-5598.
  • Psychosocial oncology program – A cancer resource coordinator facilitates support sessions to help patients and families deal with the normal emotional reactions so often felt with a diagnosis of cancer – depression, fear, anxiety and anger. Individual sessions are available. A certified oncology nurse can provide educational information, presentations and guidance on a range of cancer-related topics. For information: Janice Terry, LCSW, 903-595-5550.
  • Cancer Foundation for Life – Founded by retired oncologist Gary T. Kimmel, the CFFL provides a unique physical conditioning and psychological support program addressed just for cancer patients. Free of charge with a doctor’s referral. For information call Wendy at 903-561-0149 or visit
  • Nutritional guidance – Registered clinical dietitians are available to give one-on-one assistance to cancer patients with special nutritional needs.
  • Pastoral care – The ETMC chaplain will help meet the spiritual needs of our patients and their families.

“A critical component of treatment is the availability of a comprehensive support program to assist patients and families as they struggle to cope with diagnosis, fears, treatment and outcomes.”

– Janice Terry, LCSW, ETMC clinical social worker

More opportunities to fight cancer

The ETMC Cancer Institute sponsors and helps organize a variety of activities for those who wish to participate, learn more, reach out and do more on behalf of the ongoing fight against cancer.

  • The “Great Getaway” – A retreat each spring designed to give cancer patients and survivors a place to share their journey with others.
  • Pink Ribbon Getaway – A one-day retreat for breast cancer survivors in October featuring inspirational speakers, a physicians’ panel and activities.
  • Henry Bell Jr. Golf Tournament – A fundraising event to help support the ETMC mission of cancer care by raising awareness of cancer and treatment options in the community. For information: 903-595-5550.
  • ETMC Pin-A-Sister campaign – An award-winning effort to raise awareness of breast cancer among African-American women.
  • Great American Smokeout – On the third Thursday in November smokers are encouraged to quit for at least that day. Part of a nationwide effort organized by the American Cancer Society.
  • Community outreach – Health fairs, reduced-price cancer screenings, smoking cessation programs, lecture series, physician question-and-answer sessions and in-school presentations are among the ways ETMC Cancer Institute brings awareness, education and improved healthcare access to our communities in East Texas.

For more information on any of these programs in support of the fight against cancer, call the ETMC Cancer Institute at 903-595-5550.