Women with Cancer Manage Appearance Concerns with Help of Look Good... Feel Better

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Patient "Ambassadors" Share Stories of Fun, Transformation, and Practical Care

as a program Ambassador, having been through [Look Good…Feel Better] and being so moved by it, I thought it would be amazing for us to hear the stories of the women who go through the program and hear how Look Good…Feel Better has impacted them. If it has impacted me in one way, I'm sure it has impacted 500 other women in 500 other ways.

The unique and very personal experiences of women finding their way through cancer diagnosis, treatment, and troubling appearance concerns will come to life in a new program - the Ambassador's Corner - launched today by the cancer support program Look Good…Feel Better®.

Developed to give patients that have attended a Look Good…Feel Better program (Look Good…Feel Better graduates) a voice and the opportunity to share their hard-won wisdom and experience with others just beginning a cancer journey, the Ambassador's Corner and a supporting Blog, Pia's Look Good…Feel Better Chronicles, will portray the story of 31-year old, two-time cancer survivor and Look Good…Feel Better Ambassador Pia Awal, and her experiences as a Look Good…Feel Better program correspondent. This month during Look Good…Feel Better Week April 22 - 28, Awal will set forth on a year-long project to talk with other cancer survivors that have experienced the Look Good…Feel Better program and capture their stories, posting her accounts and occasional video or audio clips of her interviews on Pia's Look Good…Feel Better Chronicles, and encouraging other Look Good…Feel Better graduates to do the same.

For nearly two decades, Look Good…Feel Better, a free, nationwide program has offered women help and encouragement to cope with the appearance side effects of cancer treatment. In two-hour workshops conducted by specially trained beauty professionals, Look Good…Feel Better offers practical tips about skin care, makeup techniques, and guidance for coping with hair loss. A free bag of makeup from leading cosmetic companies is also provided for use as learning tools in the workshop. But, as Pia Awal points out, the program also offers "a sense of community" where women are "bonded by the makeup and the experience." She says that Look Good…Feel Better "teaches women about what to expect and how to deal with the [appearance] changes in a truly safe and nurturing environment, and because of that, it enables women to leave with such a sense of feeling empowered and transformed, and strong to continue fighting."

Of her new Look Good…Feel Better Ambassador role, Awal says "as a program Ambassador, having been through [Look Good…Feel Better] and being so moved by it, I thought it would be amazing for us to hear the stories of the women who go through the program and hear how Look Good…Feel Better has impacted them. If it has impacted me in one way, I'm sure it has impacted 500 other women in 500 other ways."

According to a "Self Appearance" survey conducted by Look Good…Feel Better last year among women who were currently or had recently completed treatment for cancer, the majority (69 percent) of the women surveyed reported that their appearance changed "somewhat" or "a lot" during treatment, and 83 percent were self conscious about their appearance during treatment. About half (48 percent) sought help to improve their appearance during treatment. 1

These data underscore the value and importance of Look Good…Feel Better, says Louanne Roark, vice president of the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association Foundation (the organization that originated the program), and Look Good…Feel Better spokesperson. "Our goal is to make Look Good…Feel Better a part of every cancer patient's treatment experience, giving them the tools they need to take control of the appearance-related effects of cancer treatment and creating a sense of hope and self-determination," she said.

Program Ambassador Awal says that "Look Good…Feel Better is a unique program because it talks about beauty. "This program is unlike other programs because it is so much more active. It gives you tools that you can use right away and use for the rest of your life," says Awal.        

Since 1989, Look Good…Feel Better (LGFB) has helped improve the quality of life of 550,000 cancer survivors through its free services, which include group programs; one-on-one consultations; self-help materials; and a Web site, http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org. The program was started by the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association Foundation (CTFA Foundation) - the charitable arm of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), which is the national representative of the personal care products industry. Look Good…Feel Better is delivered nationally through a collaboration between the CTFA Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cosmetology Association (NCA).

The CTFA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization which provides the program oversight, makeup, materials, and financial support for Look Good…Feel Better. The American Cancer Society administers Look Good…Feel Better programs nationwide through thousands of local offices and patient services staff. The NCA enlists its members to participate as Look Good…Feel Better volunteer cosmetologists and trainers, and manages the Look Good…Feel Better train-the-trainer program.

These three organizations bring together their collective expertise to support and deliver Look Good…Feel Better programs to 50,000 women in the U.S. each year, as well as offering bi-lingual programs for Hispanic women, a program for teenagers, and information for men. Outside the U.S., Look Good…Feel Better is available in 19 countries on six continents including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America.

Contact Us
For more information or for women who would like to participate in a Look Good...Feel Better program, visit the Look Good...Feel Better Web site at http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org, call 800-395-LOOK, or contact the local American Cancer Society office.

To read Pia Awal's blog, visit http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org and click on the LGFB Blog button on the home page.

The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association Foundation is a charitable organization established by the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA). CTFA is the trade association representing the cosmetic, toiletry, and fragrance industry in the United States and globally. Founded in 1894, CTFA has a membership of nearly 600 companies, including manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers of the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the United States. The CTFA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization which provides the program oversight, makeup, materials, and financial support for Look Good…Feel Better.

The National Cosmetology Association has represented the interests of the professional salon industry since 1921. Today, NCA's membership includes more than 25,000 salon owners, hairdressers, estheticians, nail technicians, educators and students, and is the world's largest association of salon professionals. The NCA enlists its members to participate as Look Good…Feel Better volunteer cosmetologists and trainers, and manages the Look Good…Feel Better train-the-trainer program . For more information about the NCA, visit http://www.ncacares.org.

1 Study conducted by R.L. Repass & Partners, Inc. via 404 online interviews carried out between April 11 - 17, 2006. Study participants were recruited via the Mindfield™ Online Panel; respondents qualified for participation if they were female and had chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer treatment within the past five years. Based on 404 completed interviews, the overall margin of error for this study is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points at the 95% confidence interval.

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Lisa Burris

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