ST. GEORGE – Cancer is an ugly word and it can be a life-altering disease with treatments that often include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation that bring negative side effects to a woman’s body and appearance. To help women look good and feel better as they go through the process of gaining victory over cancer, Gamma West Cancer Services in St. George in cooperation with the American Cancer Society provides the “Look Good Feel Better” program twice monthly. It is a free program open to both Gamma West’s own patients and others.
Women who participate in the bimonthly “Look Good Feel Better” program receive a makeup kit with quality brand name products from Avon, Lancombe, Mary Kay, Estée Lauder and others, products donated to the American Cancer Society for the program.
Each kit includes things a woman needs to look good and feel better while going through treatment. There is
no charge for the makeup kit or the class.
An esthetician participates in the meetings by taking the women step-by-step through the process of application for each item in the kit.
The “Look Good Feel Better” program at Gamma West
“Look Good Feel Better” started in 1987 to help women dealing with side effects from chemotherapy and radiation to, as the program’s title says, look good and feel better about themselves.
Joe Christopher, senior representative of community engagement with the American Cancer Society, works with the staff at Gamma West Cancer Services to ensure that any woman who feels they would benefit from the “Look Good Feel Better” program is able to participate.
Gamma West has had a presence in St. George for six years, and been at its current site for three and a half years.
“We’ve always had a good relationship with the American Cancer Society, they are a great resource for our patients,” Dr. James Clarke, the clinic’s radiation oncologist, said. “’Look Good Feel Better’ has been a good way to help our patients to feel whole again after going through treatment.”
Nurse Manager Tyler Knight has initial contact with the patients who come through the doors at Gamma West for “Look Good Feel Better.”
“We host the ‘Look Good Feel Better’ program here at Gamma West,” Knight said. “It is an all volunteer program, and the employees at Gamma West have signed on to be volunteers to help it run smoothly,” he said.
His patients love the program, Knight said. “It’s one of the give-back programs that is really needed,” he said, “and it makes people feel great.”
Sara Millecam, master esthetician, has been a volunteer with the program for a year and a half. “When women are going through cancer treatments sometimes it’s hard to feel good about themselves,” she said. “They are losing their hair, their eyelashes are falling out. They need something like this to help them to feel better about themselves,” she said. That is what the “Look Good Feel Better” program is all about.
Another important aspect of “Look Good Feel Better” is hair. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause hair to fall out, but there are many creative ways to remedy this problem.
Brook Milne, a wig specialist from Creative Wigs in St. George, was on hand Tuesday to display a variety of wigs, hats and scarves for program participants. She has been a volunteer with “Look Good Feel Better” in St. George for 20 years.
“I bring a variety of wigs for them to try on,” Milne said. “Some of these women are just starting their treatment. Some of them have already lost their hair,” she said. “It’s important for them to feel good about how they look.”
By showing women different styles of wigs and scarves it gives them some perspective, Milne said.
Another important facet of the program is that all the women in the group have cancer in common. It may be different types of cancer, and different types of treatments, but they talk with one another about their experiences and provide encouragement to one another while they are there.
Program participant Ellen Page is a cancer survivor who modeled a variety of wigs and scarves for the group.
She was diagnosed in May 2013 with stage 2 breast cancer. After eight rounds of chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation, Page completed her treatment in January.
“I think this is a great program,” Page said. “Ninety percent of recovering from cancer is attitude. Having other people to talk to is important.”
Gamma West offers the “Look Good Feel Better” program twice a month for any woman involved in the battle against cancer, whether or not they are a Gamma West patient. The clinic is located at 1308 E. 900 S. in St. George. Their phone number is 435-767-9104.
Recap and resources
- What: Gamma West’s “Look Good Feel Better” program for any woman battling cancer
- When: Twice monthly
- Where: Gamma West Cancer Services, 1308 E. 900 S. in St. George |
- Contacts and information: Telephone 435-767-9104 | Gamma West website | Gamma West St. George Facebook
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Email: [email protected]
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