Chemotherapy eradicates cancer cells, but it also slows the growth of healthy cells, since it treats the entire body. Many cancer patients undergo a series of radiation and chemotherapy simultaneously. Chemotherapy drugs and radiation have side effects, ranging from mild to serious. These side effects will potentially limit the patient’s activities, with more rest being required.
Cancer patients discover early on that the cancer diagnosis can be detrimental to the mental status. Not only will there be times of feeling hopeless, but the patient must also endure the side effects linked to chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy. While the side effects can vary from patient to patient, hair loss, dry mouth, fatigue, edema in hands and feet, sunburn skin and gastrointestinal ailments are very common among all patients.
The American Cancer Society provides free seminars for cancer patients at hospitals throughout the nation. Seminars are held at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center twice a month, offer tips, makeup lessons, scarves, hats and beauty advice women enduring chemotherapy treatments. The seminar is called Look Good Feel better, empowering women with the tools and information to conceal the side effects of cancer treatments.
The program currently serves 50,000 women a year, with 15,000 sessions, which is a huge increase from when it began 30 years ago. Local cosmetologists volunteer their time to run the sessions, plus companies donate free gift bags that contain brushes and cosmetics.
Debbi Basi, owner of SASS Salon, provides women with makeup tips that will conceal splotches on the skin and how to utilize eyeliner to give the illusion of lashes. Many of the patients that have attended the seminars say they are a distraction from harsh reality of cancer.
For those interested in volunteering can call 1(800) 227-2345 to find a session nearby. For more information about the Look Good Feel Better program, please visit the American Cancer Society official website: lookgoodfeelbetter.org.