The Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN) was initiated in 1989 by the National Cancer Institute
(NCI) as a structure for strengthening cancer education in cooperation with patient educators at
NCI-designated Cancer Centers in the U.S. This has been a fruitful and significant collaboration.
Effective education is pivotal for achieving optimum outcomes for cancer patients, and the use of
evidence-based best practices in patient and family education has contributed to the ongoing national
efforts to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality. CPEN provides a vital role in assessing cancer
education needs and practices, utilizing the variety of cancer education programs and publications
provided by NCI, linking cancer educators across the country, providing opportunities for mentorship and support, and ultimately in delivering effective education to patients and their families.
Recognizing the value of CPEN for those working in cancer patient education, and wishing to broaden our reach to a larger audience of patient educators, CPEN established itself as an independent professional organization in July 2005. The strong partnership with CPEN and the NCI continues as the Network grows to serve a broader, nation-wide spectrum of cancer education professionals. Together we share the vision to reduce the burden of cancer through education. The organization has grown tremendously and continues to develop new opportunities and programs for its members. CPEN is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Working together, we can continue to fulfill CPEN’s mission to promote and provide models of excellence in the areas of patient, family, and community education across the continuum of cancer care.