Helping Families Cope with Cancer

By Drew Munhausen

Canopy is a unique cancer survivorship center located at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center. Kate Mahan, a licensed professional counselor, is an added complimentary resource available to Canopy guests who is shedding additional light on her work in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“I am honored to work with survivors, patients and families affected by cancer to provide practical and therapeutic support on their treatment journey,” Mahan said.

Mahan is available to Canopy patients and family members free of charge, helping to eliminate additional barriers families may experience during their cancer journey.

Q: What is your role at Canopy?

A: In June 2019, I began working with Canopy Survivorship Center to offer free counseling services and supportive resources. Services are provided to anyone affected by cancer, so I work with patients and their family members or loved ones.

Q: What is the importance of counseling when someone is going through a tough diagnosis?

A: A cancer diagnosis is a serious, complex, life-changing event. It affects all aspects of a person’s life and the people in it. Counselors are an important part of the care team. Services are effective in providing a safe place for individuals to express themselves openly, for facilitating adjustment to diagnosis and treatment, teaching coping strategies and assisting with practical matters. Research shows that counseling can be effective in lowering levels of diagnosis related emotional distress such as anxiety and depression.

Q: What makes Canopy a unique environment?

A: Canopy offers a unique holistic care model. Offering oncology related wellness and support services, Canopy provides a warm and welcoming environment to everyone who crosses the threshold. Housed within the setting of a hospital, Canopy provides a comfortable, non-clinical safe space for patients and families to come for self-care.

Q: What makes your role at Canopy special compared to other outside help?

A: Cancer survivors and their families are often faced with different hurdles as they navigate their journey. Cancer treatment is costly, complex and time consuming. Canopy eliminates barriers to care by providing all services free of cost, in one location, and by a team of professionals who are knowledgeable about the cancer treatment spectrum.   

Q: What does a normal day for you at Canopy look like?

A: I’m honored to work with Canopy two days each week. On any given day, I will provide individual counseling services, give supportive resources, offer education, perform group education classes and answer phone calls from the community. I took the extra step of becoming certified to perform breast prosthesis fitting, so I am able to assist with this, as well.

To learn more about the services offered at Canopy, visit

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