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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid