Who we are
If you have cancer or you’re close to someone who has, it can be frightening and stressful. We can help. We bring treatment, emotional support and practical advice to where it matters most; the heart of your community.
Tenovus Cancer Care is here to help you cope, and through our vital research, we offer hope. We’re the leading cancer charity in Wales and, whenever you need us, we’re here for you.
Where it all began
In 1943, Tenovus was founded by ten businessmen, D.R. Edwards, C.Harris, G. Brinn, C.E. Rolfe, D.Curitz, G.T. Addis, T.J.E. Price, H. Thomas, H.E. Gosling and T.Curitz. Initially, the charity funded a wide range of projects in the local area.
These ranged from building the Sunshine House for Blind Babies just outside Cardiff, to donating a washing machine to a widow with seven children who had lost an arm.
In the 1960s, Tenovus embarked on a project which was to influence our work for the next 40 years. We built the Tenovus Institute for Cancer Research in Cardiff which carried out vital research into the causes of cancer.
Since then, we have concentrated our efforts on cancer and are now recognised for our pioneering work.
Our scientists developed the use of Tamoxifen, now used worldwide to treat breast cancer, and Zoladex which treats prostate cancer.
Alongside our ground-breaking research, we have developed a system of cancer support services to help cancer patients and their families, when they need it most, including our free Support Line (0808 808 1010), which is open 8am - 8pm, 365 days a year.
In 2009, we developed further innovations to the support we offer cancer patients and their families with our Mobile Support Unit. The Unit was launched at the Celtic Manor in February 2009 and brings cancer care to the heart of the patient's community.
In 2011, we conducted research into the benefits of singing for cancer patients and their families. The results of that study were so positive that we applied for funding to set up more choirs. We were awarded a £1m Big Lottery Grant to set up 15 choirs across Wales.
Following this success, in 2012 we were asked to put together a very special choir, for a Channel 4 documentary 'Sing for your Life'. The documentary featured a choir of cancer patients, created by us, and followed their journey from the very first rehearsal in Cardiff, all the way to the Royal Albert Hall.
2012 also saw the launch of Tenovus Cancer Callback; a world-first service which offers newly diagnosed cancer patients a series of regular calls from an experienced nurse. We also received funding to build a second Mobile Cancer Support Unit to launch in late 2013.
2013 marked our 70th birthday and we celebrated throughout the year with a number of special events including our 70th Birthday Research Conference and Gala Concert. Take a look back at our birthday year in our round-up video. We also launched our second Mobile Support Unit to bring lymphoedema treatment closer to home.
In 2014 we worked in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK and Movember to launch the ManVan. The ManVan brings support to men affected by prostate and testicular cancer in Wales. This year also saw us launch our 15th Sing with Us choir in Wales in 2014, as well as our first in England!
At the end of 2014, following lots of research and work, we launched a refreshed brand and a new name; Tenovus Cancer Care. Our aim is for more people to know who we are and what we do, so we can support even more people affected by cancer.
In 2015 we celebrated 50 years of cancer research as well as the end of our Big Lottery choir funding. We held a huge choir celebration where all 16 of our Sing with Us choirs performed. We also undertook a research study with the Royal College of Music in London to see if singing in one of our choirs has biological effects. The results of this study were fantastic and we announced the research in 2016. You can read more about this project here. The next step of this study was to launch two new choirs in London which will help investigate the positive effects of choirs for people with cancer further.
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