News / Health

Looking Better Helps Cancer Patients Feel Better

Looking Better Helps Cancer Patients Feel Betteri
X
March 02, 2013 6:20 PM
Many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy not only have to fight the disease but also the side effects of the treatment itself. Research shows that hair loss and skin damage can often negatively affect a cancer survivor’s self-esteem and their resolve to fight the disease. A program called “Look Good Feel Better” is changing that, not with drugs and needles, but with a little bit of makeup. Sarah Zaman of VOA's Urdu Service went to the program’s workshop in Washington DC to see how it’s done.
Sarah Zaman
Many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy not only have to fight the disease but also the side effects of the treatment itself.  Research shows that hair loss and skin damage can often negatively affect a cancer survivor’s self-esteem and their resolve to fight the disease.  One program is changing that, not with drugs and needles, but with a little bit of makeup.
 
When Cathy Davelli started chemotherapy for breast cancer, she knew her body would change.  What she did not expect was the emotional toll this would take on her.

“I lost a piece of who I was. I would walk by the mirror and did not recognize myself,” she said.

Millions of women who undergo chemotherapy around the world face the harsh reality of hair and weight loss and skin damage.  But many are turning to "Look Good, Feel Better;" a program that teaches women simple beauty techniques so they can once again not only look better physically but also feel stronger emotionally.

Created by the Personal Care Products Council and supported by the American Cancer Society, the "Look Good, Feel Better" program has been running free beauty classes across the United States since 1989.  Makeup artists and hair stylists teach cancer survivors how to put on makeup and cover their bald heads in flattering ways.  

Participants receive free makeup kits full of brand-name cosmetics.

In fact, says Louanne Roark, who oversees the program, the beauty industry was really the impetus behind it.

“And they provide all of the funding for the program, both here in the U.S. and in the other 24 countries," she said. "Kits that are used in the workshops, all those products are all donated. Here in the U.S., that's somewhere between about $7 [million] and $10 million worth of products that's donated every year.”

The program's research indicates that after seeing the visible side effects of cancer treatment, such as hair and weight loss, many women are dissatisfied with their appearance. After taking the beauty class, most women begin to like what they see in the mirror.  But some say that's not the only reason they come to the classes.

"It's been wonderful. Not only do you meet people, women, who are going through the same thing that you are going through and develop camaraderie but the tips that you learn are invaluable," said cancer survivor Cathy Davelli. "They give you back some of what you've lost.

And sometimes the workshops help not only the students, but also the teachers -- like makeup artist Jodie Hecker.

“I lost my mother to cancer and I lost my aunt to cancer, within nine months of each other," she said. "One of my aunt's friends works here at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center and told me that if I got involved here with my make up skills, it would be healing process for me. When I was cheering them up, it took all the emphasis off me.”

The program is now running in 25 countries.  So far it has helped more than 1.2 million women look good -- and feel better.

You May Like

Gun Nation

This is who America's gun owners are More

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs