Hot Program for Women Living with Cancer: It’s Free!

Here’s a hot health organization helping women with cancer look good, feel better.

In 1987, a physician asked former Personal Care Products Council President Ed Kavanaugh how he could organize a “makeover” for a woman in cancer treatment who was experiencing dramatic appearance side effects.  The woman was so depressed and self-conscious she would not venture outside her hospital room.

Kavanaugh made some calls and was able to provide cosmetics and a cosmetologist – and the makeover transformed not only the woman’s look, but also her outlook.

She felt happier, less burdened and laughed for the first time in weeks.

With such a profound result, the Personal Care Products Council recognized the opportunity for its industry to help more women maintain their confidence and self-esteem.

Kavanaugh presented the idea to the Personal Care Products Council membership – the nation’s cosmetic industry leaders – who immediately offered funding and cosmetics.

The American Cancer Society enthusiastically joined the effort, providing a vital national network to assist women seeking information and access to the program.

Finally, the Professional Beauty Association | National Cosmetology Association (PBA | NCA) signed on as the third collaborator, encouraging its member cosmetologists to volunteer their services.

The program – dubbed Look Good…Feel Better – launched with two groups workshops at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., in 1989.

Today, Look Good…Feel Better group programs are held in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico using products donated by Personal Care Products Council member companies.

 

Teen and Spanish programs, self-help mailer kits, online support, and a 24-hour hotline are also offered – as well as numerous independent licensed international Look Good…Feel Better affiliate programs across the globe.

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How can I find out where Look Good…Feel Better workshops are located near me?

Click the following link and enter your zip code to find a program near you.  Or call 1-800-385-LOOK (5665).

http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs

Are Look Good…Feel Better services really free? How can you do that?

Yes, Look Good…Feel Better is a free public service program. It’s made possible by our generous Personal Care Products Council member- company donors who raise more than $2 million and donate more than one million individual cosmetic products, with a value of more than $10 million. The American Cancer Society administers the program nationally, including our toll-free number (1-800-395-LOOK [5665]) and volunteer trainings. And the Professional Beauty Association│National Cosmetology Association helps us recruit caring, qualified cosmetology volunteers. (Find out moreabout our sponsors.)

What will I learn by going to a group program that I can’t learn at home?

Group programs are step-by-step makeover learning sessions led by trained cosmetology professionals. Any questions you may have – such as how to fill in or draw in your eyebrows or how to camouflage particular types of pigmentation – will be answered firsthand. You’ll receive a free makeup kit with brand-name cosmetics to use during the session and to take home, helping minimize shopping time and expense. You will have the opportunity to experiment with various wigs, hats, and turbans in a comfortable, supportive atmosphere. And, perhaps most valuable of all, you will receive the support of other women coping with cancer treatment – those about to go through it, those experiencing it, and those who’ve been there. Put all these factors together and you’ve got a pretty powerful reason to sign up for a group program. Time after time, women who considered staying home tell us how glad they are to have made the effort to come. They say that the impact on their looks and outlooks is immeasurable. And those who care about them say so, too.

Where are group programs available?

Look Good…Feel Better group programs are offered nationwide in hospitals and community centers. Call us at 1-800-395-LOOK (5665) or contact your local American Cancer Society office to help locate a program near you. For those living outside the United States, please refer to our International Look Good…Feel Better programs to connect with us.

Does Look Good…Feel Better distribute wigs?

The Look Good…Feel Better program does not distribute wigs to participants. We do offer information about proper wig selection, fitting and care for alternative head coverings such as turbans, scarves, hats, etc. Some local American Cancer Society offices have wigs banks and may be able to offer assistance to women who need, but may not be able to afford, a wig. In addition, some insurance companies cover the cost of a wig when prescribed by a doctor as a “cranial prosthesis.”

Does Look Good…Feel Better accept hair donations? If not, who does?

Look Good…Feel Better does not accept hair donations for wigs. We know of four organizations that accept hair donations and make wigs for those who need them. They are:

locksoflove.org
wigsforkids.org
pantene.com
pinkbarrette.org (This organization also accepts donations of gray hair. The others do not.)

Hopefully, one of these organizations will be able to use your hair donation.

May I donate gently-used wigs to Look Good…Feel Better?

Look Good…Feel Better does not accept donations of gently used wigs.

How can I get Look Good…Feel Better brochures to distribute at my office/salon, etc?

The American Cancer Society supplies all printed materials at the local level. For physician’s offices, clinics, salons, or other community locations, we suggest the Look Good…Feel Better general informational brochure. To request free Look Good…Feel Better brochures, please contact your localAmerican Cancer Society, or call 1-800-395-LOOK (5665).

Does Look Good…Feel Better have a program for men undergoing cancer treatment?

We offer Look Good…Feel Better teen programs, as well as the comprehensive 2bMe Web site. Though we do not offer group programs for men over 18, we have explored how the side effects of cancer treatment affect men, resulting in an informational brochure. Email us or call 1-800-395-LOOK (5665) to order it.

Organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute offer numerous resources, publications and support programs for men, women, teens and children.

Do you recommend any particular cosmetic or skin care brands to use during cancer treatment?

We do not recommend products by brand, but we do believe that mild products are best. Before adopting any skin care regimen, be sure to have your physician’s OK. (See special requirements for radiation and chemotherapy.)

How can an individual support Look Good…Feel Better?

There are several ways you can support Look Good…Feel Better. You can donate online by visiting the donation page; or you can send a monetary donation to: Personal Care Products Council Foundation, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. You can also purchase the Look Good…Feel Better scarf by Oscar de la Renta (please contact us to learn more); or you canvolunteer in your community.

Losing your hair during treatment for cancer can be one of the most difficult side effects – many women lose all or some of their hair, while others don’t lose any.

Ask your doctor what to anticipate and find out if there is anything you can do to help retain your hair. Then, speak with a hairstylist you trust to find out what to do if your hair thins, and what you can expect when it grows back.

Whether your hair thins or you lose all of it, please know that you can anticipate it growing back once your treatment is over. In the meantime, the Look Good…Feel Better community is here to offer courage, strength, support and peace of mind.

Click on a topic below to get started

Tibi Creates Silk Scarves to Benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering

Tibi Head Scarves to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Care Research

Tibi created silk head wraps to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Care and Research. 100% of the proceeds are donated and the scarves are a non-refundable charitable purchase. The scarves cost $75 each. They can be found here.

Photo: Tibi

http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs 

Links

http://www.georgetown.edu/content/1242662797532.html

7 Things Your Teeth Say About Your Health

Dental Warning #1: Flat, worn teeth plus headache = Sign of: Big-time stress

Dental Warning #2: Cracking, crumbling teeth = Sign of: GERD 

Dental Warning #3: Sores that won’t go away = Sign of: Oral cancer

Dental Warning #4: Gums growing over teeth = Sign of: Medication problems


Dental Warning #5: Dry mouth = Signs of Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes 


Dental Warning #6: White webbing inside cheeks = Sign of: Lichen planus 

Dental Warning #7:  Crusting dentures = Sign of: Potential aspiration pneumonia

Be sure to read the FULL article here, so you can find out what all those weird words means: http://www.caring.com/articles/7-things-teeth-say-about-health

Stay healthy! Keep smiling. 🙂  Maria

This content was originally published by Caring.com: “7 Things Your Teeth Say About Your Health” and this excerpt reprinted here with permission. 

Mayo Clinic Study: Dramatic Skin Cancer Rise 18-39

Health officials are specifically citing tanning salons as a major source of the increase, the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests.

Researchers examined records from a decades-long database of all patient care in Olmsted County, Minn., and looked for first-time diagnoses of melanoma in patients ages 18-39 from 1970 to 2009, writes Janice Lloyd for USA Today. Melanoma cases increased eightfold among women in that time and fourfold for men, the authors say.

Report co-author Jerry Brewer, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic told Lloyd: “We need to get away from the idea that skin cancer is an older person’s disease.”

Source: redOrbit (http://s.tt/18GtB)

Know What to Look for: the ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer:

A — asymmetry: one side of a mole or dark spot looks different from the other side

B — border: instead of being circular or oval, the mole has a jagged edge

C — color: the mole has more than one color, a dark area, a light area or the colors red, white or blue within it

D — diameter: the mole is larger than 6 mm across, roughly the size of a pencil eraser

E — evolution: any other changes are noted in the mole, even if the change can’t be categorized by A, B, C or D, above. Any itching or bleeding in a mole is also important

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/04/02/study-finds-dramatic-rise-in-skin-cancer-among-young-adults/?xid=rss-topstories#ixzz1quSbONne

                                Suzanne in San Diego Shares Her Story:

This is what skin cancer looks like

 
 
Can you find it? Yeah, thought so. The above circle is a Basal Cell Carcinoma. It is skin cancer. Fortunately, I became sun smart around 5 years ago. I knew well of my fun yet reckless relationship with the sun and what it could possibly bring to me one day.
 
Years of living near the beach as a child with the pre-sun aware generation, sun drenched sunscreen-free days as a teenager swimming at the beach and practicing tennis August, September and October (some of the hottest months in San Diego) without protection came back to kick me in the ass early in life. I can’t even count how many times I was burned.
 
I know I have been sun poisoned on several occasions. Oh and the kicker… I started tanning in what I will refer as the skin cancer chamber, AKA: the tanning bed. Boy did I feel so beautiful with a golden glow! It looked SO healthy! I would parade around in my favorite fashions (and God knows I LOVE to wear clothes) and not feel like Casper.
 
Then I wised up. I grew up. My Husband was freaked out a bit I was starting to turn darker than him. He is part Mexican and naturally tan. I did not want to look like a catcher’s mitt when I grew older.
 
My history made me more aware of my skin. I would stare at any sign of an asymmetrical mole. More stories about being sun smart were found and heard on TV and in magazines other than the Reader Digest crowd. I started to wear sunscreen on my face every day and stayed in the shade while outdoors. I tried, but not hard enough. They say the damage has been done early in life.
 
It started out as a tiny pearly bump on my upper forehead (seen on the above picture while in Hawaii). I could barely point it out to people. It stayed and slowly became a bit bigger, but barely.
 
The skin cancer flags went off in my head when one morning I noticed it was scaling over and bleeding. It was indented in the middle. I soon made an appointment to see my primary care doctor who referred me to see a dermatologist. She thought nothing of it, but I knew better.
 
Several months later I finally came around to seeing the dermatologist. I had to point out the tiny lesion. There guess was it was an Actinic Keratosis (pre-skin cancer). They chose to try and freeze it off (cryosurgery) twice within a year. The lesion stayed. It actually got smaller.
 
I was supposed to go in every 6 months, but several more passed. The “lesion” was barely noticeable. I had microdermabrasion done and I was SO pleased with the results. I had my 3rd dermatology appointment a week later.
 
The dermatologist came in and automatically looked concerned the lesion was still noticeable. They looked again under their special light and ordered a biopsy right away. I was sick. They had said no lesion would be there unless there was cancer brewing under my skin. It could be like the tip of a glacier with all the skin cancer under my forehead. Within the next hour they numbed up my forehead twice and took a tiny cookie cutter of skin off my forehead. I was on my way home until further notice.
 
I did not hear anything for 7 days and was so excited. No news is good news, right? WRONG. I came in to get my forehead stitches out and found my doctor was at a conference. I left excited to have my forehead back and a promise to wear lot’s of sunscreen for the rest of my life along with the senior citizen style hats while in the direct sun.
 
I came home. Eric Skyped me and I received a call at the same time. I answered when I noticed it was from the US Government and when I put two and two together I realized it may be the Naval Hospital. It was my doctor. He mentioned he was sorry he missed me and wanted to tell me in person, but I did in fact have Basal Cell Carcinoma.
 
He wanted to start Aldara immediately. Aldara puts your immune system into hyper drive to try and kill off the cancer cells. It is considered a topical chemo. He told me how it worked and I gasped a bit through nervous laughter. He thought it was the best non-invasive way to try and get rid of the cancer. I was ready to get it over with and start ASAP.
 
I cancelled fun plans and started sun free days right away. I told Eric and cried. One more thing to worry about. I tried to reassure myself what I had was the best type of cancer to have! BCC is rare to metastasize and grows slowly! Yippee!
 
The next five weeks sucked. I threw up out of nowhere the first week on the medication and had muscle and stomach aches. I had hot flashes throughout the day. It scared me that this small amount of cream was so poisonous. I read about the awful side effects online and decided that was a bad idea to research and forced myself to stop googling.
 
The last 3 weeks have been full of spine and lower back pain mixed with a massive amount of fatigue. The lesion grew everyday and got uglier. I had to use ALL of the cream. It scabbed over, would crack, then pus from the middle and drain out to the rest of my forehead.
 
I would put the cream on at night and wash it off in the morning as it ripped off my skin and would slightly bleed. I am nearing the end. My doc gave me the OK to cut my cream application in half and stop this week. I am already feeling better other than the part where I want to SCRATCH MY FOREHEAD OFF!!!!
 
I am not out of the running for Moh’s Surgery that will leave a big scar on my forehead. We will see how the lesion heals and if the cancer is still there with another biopsy. It can come back. It may have never gone away. I have increased my chances for Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. My chance of getting more of these on my face is increased greatly.
 
Being tan is NOT worth it. If anything, be vain and think of all the photo aging the sun does.
 
I LOVE the outdoors more than your typical person, but now I choose to do it safely. I have invested in SPF clothing some amazing hats and great sunscreen applied properly on my face and exposed body. I bought a super cute parasol. I have large SPF 50 sun tents now for outdoor activities.
 
I have embraced my HEALTHY skin. Eric loves me pale and I am embracing it and rocking it!
 
Hoping this six weeks will be the last with my battle of the lesion!
 
The first week.
 
My Husband took a few days leave to support me during a crazy schedule! LOVE this man!
 
Week Three…that is ALL cancer being attacked.
 
Week Four…starting to really hurt 😦
 
Thankfully I can rock the you know what out of a hat and have tons of cute ones now! Another reason to shop!
 
At my worst. Week 5
 
Week five and over it! My face was so tender and swollen here.
 
Hoping it does not leave too bad of a scar. Thankful for laser treatment!