Look Good, Feel Better is a free, non-medical, salon and product neutral program that teaches techniques to people undergoing cancer treatment to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. It is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, Personal Care Products Council and the Professional Beauty Association/National Cosmetology Association.
Look Good, Feel Better sessions
Cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation often are affected by a number of side-effects. This can be a rough time for them, both physically and emotionally. Look Good, Feel Better is a program the American Cancer Society offers through McLaren Port Huron. It gives women a much needed boost at a time when they may be emotionally drained. "It’s a night of make-over magic that works wonders," says program coordinator Kelly DiNardo, RN, McLaren Port Huron Cancer Education and Outreach nurse.
Specially trained cosmetology professionals teach the women in the program how to disguise the side-effects, which often include changes in skin complexion and hair loss. "Nearly all of the appearance-related side-effects of treatment are temporary, but they can be very disturbing," says Kelly. "We hope that by helping people improve the way they look, we can also help them feel better. The women we see in the beginning of the evening are much different from the enthusiastic, empowered women who leave at the end."
Hair loss in another common concern for women undergoing cancer treatment and McLaren Port Huron is proud to supply free wigs to women who may lose thier hair. "We are so fortunate to be able to provide women a free wig from the generous donations made to the McLaren Port Huron Foundation's Donna Niester Breast Cancer Fund," says Kelly. "Women undergoing treatment are so grateful to receive a complementary wig and other helpful products such as hats and wig care kits when they attent the program."
"I encourage women on this journey to participate in this program," says
Ellen Hoover, who experienced the Look Good, Feel Better program while
on chemotherapy for breast cancer. "When you get the diagnosis, you
don’t know what’s going to happen or how it is going to affect how you
look," says Ellen. "At first I didn’t think I wanted to do anything, but
this program really does help you accept things. It made me realize I
wasn’t alone. It really did make me feel better.
"It’s time well spent in the healing process," says Kelly. "It brings the patient’s care full circle with the mind, body, spirit connection."