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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid