The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA) Foundation, in partnership with the American Cancer Society and the National Cosmetology Association (NCA) have a program that helps women overcome the effects of cancer treatment. It is one of the many programs the ACS provides that will be covered at an informational meeting on Monday, March 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Shelbyville Public Library.

The program, called Look Good...Feel Better (LGFB) was founded in 1989. It brings trained volunteer cosmetologists together to teach women how to cope with skin changes and hair loss using cosmetics and skin care products donated by the cosmetic industry.

“Look Good...Feel Better is as much about improving and maintaining self-image and confidence as it is about appearance,” said Jennie Knobloch, Patient Services Representative with the American Cancer Society. “Patients enjoy the opportunity to spend time in a relaxed, non-medical setting with others in the same situation. And the free make-up and instruction from professionals helps them look and feel better.”

Knobloch said that certified cosmetologists are needed to hold LGFB in Shelby County.

“We need certified cosmetologists to have the program exist in Shelby County,” she said. “I feel there is an interest in Shelby County among cancer patients.”

On top of the very real physical and emotional concerns of cancer itself, the side effects of treatment can be devastating to a woman’s self esteem, Knobloch explained. This program aims to combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatments. According to the ACS, there are dozens of anti-cancer drugs in use today, each with its own set of possible side effects. Possible appearance related effects of chemotherapy and radiation include: hair loss on the scalp, eyebrows or lashes; weight gain or loss; changes in skin pigmentation and texture; skin oiliness, itchiness or peeling; and alterations in nail texture and growth.

During LGFB sessions, patients learn how to properly care for skin and nails made fragile by cancer treatment, and disguise hair loss using wigs, turbans and scarves.

“Although the cosmetics used in the program are donated by members of CTFA, the program is product-neutral, and no brands, manufactures, or salons are never endorsed,” Knobloch said.

If interested in volunteering for LGFB, call the ACS at 356-9076.

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