By Leigh Ann Rutledge
August 13, 2012
|Cosmetologists Evelyn Youngen (left), Charlotte Johnston, and Faye Flanagan volunteer for the Look Good...Feel Better program sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
Wearing your favorite shirt, lipstick or perfume can often lift your spirits, making you look good and feel better.
For women stricken with cancer and going through treatment the “Look Good...Feel Better” program administered by the American Cancer Society (ACS) does just that; lifts spirits and improves self-esteem allowing patients to manage treatment and recovery with greater confidence.
A workshop will be held at Aultman Carrollton Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. Registration is required by Aug. 17 by calling 1-800-227-2345. Three local, trained cosmetologists can cut and style wigs and teach cancer patients how to care for their skin and apply make-up.
Carroll County residents Tammy Compston and Denise Teeter, both cancer survivors, were treated to a Look Good...Feel Better session recently at Aultman Carrollton. The women received a kit of facial and skin creams, make up and other items and viewed wigs from the ACS wig bank.
Cosmetologists, Faye Flanagan, Reflections Hair & Image Center, Dellroy; Charlotte Johnston, Charlotte’s Cut & Curl, Amsterdam; and Evelyn Youngen, Hair Gallery, Carrollton, instructed Compston and Teeter on how to care for their skin and scalp and how to apply make up during cancer treatment.
Teeter wished she had known about Look Good...Feel Better and other programs offered by ACS earlier in her treatment and recovery. She was amazed the session was a wealth of information for those who are going through cancer treatments.
“I can remember asking questions to people at the hospital about where I can go to get things I need, such as hair, in the interim,” she explained. “Not knowing Carroll County had such people who help with cancer patients’ needs, I ended up traveling outside of the county. It is nice to know that we have people here at home, to support cancer patients and their families during these trying times.”
Compston thought the program was very helpful and informative especially the information for people who have lost their eyebrows and eyelashes.
“It is a great program for people who do not have a lot of experience with make-up application,” she said. “I really enjoyed myself. It was nice to be able to feel good and go out looking good.”
The Look Good...Feel Better program was created in 1989 by the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Inc. and the Professional Beauty Association/National Cosmetology Association (PBA/NCA). Ed Kavanaugh, former president of Personal Care Products Council, was asked by a doctor to provide a makeover for one of his patients, a young woman undergoing cancer treatment. Due to the physical side effects, she was beginning to show signs of depression and refused to leave her hospital room. Kavanaugh provided a make-up artist and cosmetics.
The transformation was incredible and it was reported the woman became animated and laughed for the first time since beginning treatment. The doctor later told Kavanaugh the young woman continued with her treatment with an entirely new outlook.
The Personal Care Products Council noted, “The cosmetic industry has always been dedicated to improving quality of life - especially for woman.” In the late 1980s they were given the opportunity to give back to consumers and society in a way no other industry could. Kavanaugh presented his idea of creating a program to provide women with tools to help them cope with the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment to leaders in the cosmetic industry. They agreed to provide funding and donate cosmetics for sessions. The ACS began collaborating with the council, providing a vital national network for cancer patients seeking information and access to the program. The NCA agreed to become the third collaborator and encouraged cosmetologists to volunteer their services to the program, whose official name became “Look Good...Feel Better.”
The ACS has teamed up with two Carroll County salons, Hair Gallery in Carrollton and Reflections Hair & Image Center in Dellroy, to provide free wigs to cancer patients.
Beth Heinicke, health initiatives representative explained, “Any woman going through cancer and experiencing hair loss can receive a free, brand-new wig through either salon.” Patients should call the salons directly if they are interested in getting a wig from the ACS wig bank. To schedule an appointment, call Hair Gallery at 330-627-3400 or Reflections Hair & Image Center at 330-735-2222.
Evelyn Youngen, owner of Hair Gallery, has been working with Look Good...Feel Better for around 12 years. “Faye (Flanagan) was involved with Look Good...Feel Better and Charlotte (Johnston) and I wanted to work with Faye,” explained Youngen. “We thought it was a good way to help ladies during cancer treatment.”
Because of her affiliation, ACS asked her if she would offer the wig salon program at her salon. Being a part of Look Good...Feel Better, Youngen was in touch with patients possibly needing wigs.
The wigs are donated by Pantene Pro V and feature such brands as Eva Gabor and Sophia Loren. The wigs are free to cancer patients. They are synthetic which makes them easier for the patient to work with and many come with a “natural part” netting effect allowing you to see the scalp, making them more realistic.
Youngen received a shipment at the beginning of the year with all colors, lengths and sizes. There are three basic sizes but she noted the new wigs come with an adjustable size for a better fit.
To schedule an appointment call Hair Gallery or Reflections Hair & Image Center. Youngen and Flanagan work with cancer patients to schedule appointments at their convenience. Youngen has given out four wigs this year.
“Tell your friends if they know anyone going through cancer treatment, we are here,” stated Youngen. “The wig program and Look Good...Feel Better programs are the most under utilized programs ACS offer.” Youngen wishes doctors and nurses would be more proactive with referrals to the programs.
The three women attend a seminar training session, provided by ACS, every other year, covering all topics from hands-on to knowledge.
“Look Good...Feel Better is so important,” explained Youngen. “We know you are not going to want to wear full face make-up each day but we can help clients deal with breakouts or show them how to put on natural looking eyebrows. We want them to feel good inside themselves.”
“Look Good...Feel Better is a free program we offer to women in active treatment to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatments,” stated Heinicke. “Free cosmetic kits are provided to each participant at these group workshop settings. Workshops are offered quarterly in Carroll County.”
Kits include products from several companies including Mary Kay, Revlon, Avon, Vaseline, and more. They often contain various colors, giving women more options.
Look Good...Feel Better was first offered in two locations, Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington D.C. in 1989. Today the program is offered in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The program is also operated independently of the US program across the world in such areas as Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and many other countries.
MEN AND TEENS TOO!
In 1996, Look Good...Feel Better for Teens was launched. The program is for adolescents age 13-17 who have been stricken with cancer and provides information dealing with the appearance and sociological side effects related to cancer and its treatment. The material has been created exclusively for teenagers. Volunteers receive specialized training to address physical, social, and psychological issues relevant to adolescents.
This program is available at cancer center treatment facilities and children’s hospitals in select US locations. To locate the teen program, call 800-395-LOOK (5665). A website www.2bMe.org was developed in 2001 and is an additional resource for teens with cancer, addressing appearance-related issues, health matters and concerns about peer relationships.
Men have not been forgotten. Look Good...Feel Better for MenSM was developed in 2003. The “self-help” brochure contains information for men undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment and provides information on appearance-related side effects of treatment as well as other tips. The brochure offers tips on skin care, body issues, such as lack of energy or weight gain and relaxation techniques.
To learn more about Look Good...Feel Better, visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org.
NON-MEDICAL CANCER CARE
Roper Starch Worldwide Inc. conducted a survey of oncologists and female cancer patients to determine how women suffering from cancer are dealing with the non-medical aspect of cancer, the emotional, social and physical appearance side effects which can result from chemotherapy and radiation. The survey was commissioned by the Personal Care Products Council Foundation.
The survey concluded oncologists consider the non-medical aspects of cancer care to be very important to the patients well being. Oncologists and patient’s agree support programs providing non-medical cancer care can be effective in improving the patient’s quality of life.
However, the survey also discovered a majority of female cancer patients rely on family members or friends to meet their needs in dealing with non-medical aspects of cancer care. In conclusion, all cancer patients, regardless of their sex or age, along with their family and friends, can benefit from support groups and non-medical cancer care.
For more information on programs, day-to-day help and emotional support, contact the American Cancer Society at 1800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.