News / Health

Beauty Makeovers Help Cancer Patients Heal

Salon Finds Beauty in Canceri
|| 0:00:00
X
June Soh
December 12, 2012
Cancer takes a toll not only on the body, but also on the psyche. A beauty salon at a Baltimore cancer center aims to restore patients' confidence in their image. Hair and make-up might seem like superficial concerns but, experts say they can have a positive impact on patients. VOA’s June Soh visited the Image Recovery Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Salon Finds Beauty in Cancer

TEXT SIZE - +
June Soh
— Cancer takes a toll not only on the body, but also on the psyche. 

Patients often lose their hair to chemotherapy or experience changes to their skin.

While hair and make-up might seem like superficial concerns while battling a life-threatening disease, experts say maintaining a positive self image can have an impact on a patient's recovery.

That's where the Image Recovery Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore comes in.

Cosmetologist Marianne Kelly is applying makeup to Gayle Layfield's face. Layfield, a cancer patient, is bald after losing her hair to chemotherapy.

“That makes all the difference in the world. That looks so, so much better. Thank you so much," Layfield says to Kelly. "“I feel healthier, I feel happier, and that is what improves my spirit.”

“When you look at yourself every day and you see a person that is sick, you constantly live the role of a sick person," says Kelly. "When you look at yourself and you feel that 'I am dealing with a serious disease but I can look normal'...it really affects your self-esteem.”

Kelly learned that from personal experience. She lost her teenage sister to leukemia. Her daughter was diagnosed with the same disease at age four, and soon after that, Kelly herself was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She went through 15 hours of brain surgery.

“I recognized that there was more to healing than medicine," Kelly says. "I felt extremely challenged with the visible changes that took place and having no resources.”

So Kelly envisioned a program that would help patients deal with disfiguring medical treatment. She began as a volunteer, offering free makeovers at a local hospital, and then, about 10 years ago, opened her Image Recovery Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Since then, she has set up 16 other centers around the country.

The centers offer cosmetics which are specially formulated for cancer patients.

"Surgery, chemotherapy, the radiation part, all that, it is a very prolonged process. And in this fight, if patients look better, feel better, and feel stronger, it helps the immune system to fight cancer better,” says Mehran Habibi, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins. “There are several data that are showing that basically...sense of well-being is very effective in healing."

Gayle Layfield has another reason for stopping by the Image Recovery Center.

“Most customers who are sitting in this chair have had hair loss and you are among friends," she says. "So you do feel more comfortable.” 

Smiles are common at Image Recovery. Marianne Kelly says her goal is to reach as many cancer patients as she can to help restore their smile and self-esteem.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid