Look Good… Feel Better
Just exactly what is “Look Good Feel Better?” It is a free program offered by the American Cancer Society for women who are undergoing treatment. Perhaps they have lost their hair, lost weight, had a change in skin color or developed dry skin or a rash. It is not unusual for women to feel unattractive after living with some of the side effects of their treatment. This is where ACS steps in with its “Look Good Feel Better” program. Volunteers have been trained in skin care and make-up, choosing the best wig for a woman’s personality, selecting a smashing hat or tying a scarf that will leave her looking fetching.
Women undergoing treatment can meet with these volunteers to help them to feel good about themselves and able to step out into society looking their best. To find out more contact your local ACS office at 239-642-8800 ext. 3890 or go online at: www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org
Why I got involved –
A Volunteer’s Perspective
When I was introduced to LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER, I had no idea a program like this was available. I really believed it was such a blessing to be able to offer women an opportunity to learn how to feel better during this time, simply by taking a little time to pamper themselves and look like themselves again.
My motivation to volunteer as a LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER facilitator? Twenty years ago, I had a wonderful friend, Marlene. Marlene was born with a number of facial disfigurations. All of her life she was ridiculed and stared at. Marlene was beautiful on the inside and when you got to know her you never even looked at the outside, but it did affect her. She started the process of reconstructive plastic surgery in her teenage years. She had a total of 23 operations to reshape, her eye sockets, cheek bones, and a number of dental and oral surgeries. At the age of 32, and on one of her last visits to Toronto for oral surgery, she felt a lump in her breasts. She did not mention it to anyone, not even her spouse. When that last surgery was over, and she was confident her facial reconstruction was complete, she sought medical help for the lump. It was breast cancer, which eventually turned into brain cancer. It was a very short fight for Marlene, and one that left her a single mother of two, as her husband left her after her diagnosis.
I remember thinking how beautiful she was on the inside, and after all those facial surgeries, she finally got to the place where she felt comfortable with her outward appearance. In her last days, I would visit her and paint her nails and put lip gloss on her dry lips and she would be so happy . When she passed away, 18 months after her diagnosis it left me feeling very sad and embarrassed about my own behavior.
I thought about the times when I complained about having a bad hair day, or being overweight, and I thought about how Marlene had dealt with much more than I could ever imagine, and she never complained nor was self-degrading.
I am blessed every time I do a session at the Marco Island office. I believe that God has blessed me with a talent that I am to share with others, and when I do?I see the smiles on my client’s faces, and how they beam when they look in the mirror and see themselves brightened up and pretty again. Educating them on how to take care of their skin and how to use color and shadowing to contour their faces?it’s basic to me?but to them, it changes them and they feel better walking out than when they walked into the office. If I can bring a smile to their faces, and an ear to listen to them, and help them in any way, well, it makes my day and it reminds me of my dear friend.
Take Steps to Stay Well, Get Well, Find Cures & Fight Back
Greater Marco Island Unit of The AmericanCancer Society Encourages Women to Put Their Health First to Fight Breast Cancer and Celebrate More Birthdays.
As the nation marks the annual National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the Greater Marco Island Unit of The American Cancer Society is encouraging women to choose to put their personal breast health first to stay well and reduce their risk of breast cancer. The Society is reminding women 40 and older about the importance of getting a mammogram and clinical breast exam every year to find breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. In addition, the Society recommends that women ages 20 to 39 receive a clinical breast exam once every three years. The American Cancer Society also recommends magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for certain women at high risk. Women at moderate risk should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram.
An estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the U.S. in 2010, and about 40, 230 deaths are expected. While mammography is not perfect, getting a high-quality mammogram is currently the most effective way to detect cancer early because it can identify breast cancer before physical symptoms develop, when the disease is most treatable. Early-stage breast cancer typically produces no symptoms when the tumor is small and most treatable, so it is important that women follow recommended guidelines for finding breast cancer before symptoms develop. On average, mammography will detect about 80 to 90 percent of breast cancers in women without symptoms. Breast cancer survival rates are significantly higher when the cancer has not spread.
“As the Official Sponsor of Birthdays, the American Cancer Society wants women to see the real tangible benefits of choosing to put their health first,” said Melissa C. Felice, The Unit Executive Director at the American Cancer Society. “Women can take action and put their personal breast health first to stay well, fight breast cancer and save lives. More than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors will celebrate a birthday this year thanks to early detection and improved treatment.”
Women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by taking additional steps to stay well by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, and engaging in physical activity 45 to 60 minutes on five or more days of the week. Also, limiting alcohol consumption can reduce breast cancer risk ?one or more alcoholic beverages a day may increase risk.
Another way the American Cancer Society is helping create more birthdays is to help women manage their breast cancer experience when and if they are diagnosed. The Society offers newly diagnosed women and those living with breast cancer a number of programs and services to help them get well. Among these is Reach to Recovery, which helps newly diagnosed patients cope with their breast cancer experience. Other programs and resources, like the Look GoodÉFeel Better program help breast cancer patients manage the physical side effects of treatment and the Hope Lodge offers patients free lodging for those receiving treatment far from home. The Society offers information to help make treatment decisions and access to its programs everyday around the clock through 1-800-227-2345 or cancer.org.
In addition to helping women stay well and get well, the American Cancer Society has a long history of commitment to finding cures for breast cancer. The Society has invested more than $418.7 million in breast cancer research grants since 1971, and has been an important part of nearly every major breast cancer research breakthrough of the past century, including the funding discoveries that led to the development of Tamoxifen and Herceptin, and promoting the use of mammography to screen for breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society and its affiliate advocacy organization, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), continue to fight back against breast cancer by engaging in activities to increase funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) that provides low-income, uninsured and underinsured women access to mammograms, Pap tests, follow-up care and treatment. Current funding only enables the program to serve fewer than one in five eligible women ages 50 to 64 nationwide. This lifesaving program cannot be fully realized if eligible women cannot get early detection tests due to insufficient funding. ACS CAN encourages anyone touched by this disease to let Congress know that support for the NBCCEDP is important and that an increase in funding for this program isvital to its continuation. To get involved, or to learn more about this effort, please visit acscan.org/breastcancer.
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community.
We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.
As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.
Greater Marco Island Unit of The American Cancer Society
Breast Cancer Fact Sheet
- An estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U. S. during 2010.
- About 1,970 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.
- Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed non-skin cancer in women.
- An estimated 40,230 breast cancer deaths (39,840 women and 390 men) are expected in 2010.
- Breast cancer ranks second among cancer deaths in women (after lung cancer).
- The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 98 percent among individuals whose cancer has not spread beyond the breast at the time of diagnosis.
- Being female and increasing age are the most important risk factors.
- Other important factors that increase a woman’s risk include certain inherited genetic mutations (BRCA1 and BRCA2), a personal or family history of breast cancer, high breast-tissue density as seen on mammograms, biopsy-confirmed hyperplasia, and a history of high-dose radiation therapy to the chest.
- Other risk factors include a long menstrual history, being overweight or becoming obese after menopause, recent use of oral contraceptives, use of postmenopausal hormone therapy, never having children or having one’s first child after 30, consumption of one or more alcoholic beverages per day, and being physically inactive.
- Mammography can identify breast cancer at an early stage, usually before physical symptoms develop when the disease is most treatable. Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is healthy.
- At this time, breast cancer cannot be prevented, which is why regular mammograms are so important. Still, there are things women can do to choose to put their health first and lower the risk of developing breast cancer:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Find the Society’s complete breast cancer early detection, nutrition and physical activity guidelines at cancer.org.
- The Society offers people facing breast cancer free services to overcome daily challenges, like transportation, lodging, guidance through every step of the cancer experience, and information to help make decisions about care.
- Trained American Cancer Society volunteers, who are also breast cancer survivors, provide one-on-one support to newly diagnosed patients through the Society’s Reach to Recovery¨ program.
- The Society partners with volunteer beauty professionals to deliver Look GoodÉFeel Better, a community-based free service. It teaches women beauty tips to look better and feel good about how they look during chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Working to Find Cures
- The Society has spent more on breast cancer research than on any other cancer ? having invested more than $418.7 million in breast cancer research grants since 1971. The majority of the Society’s basic cancer research projects also have a potential benefit for breast cancer.
- The Society has played a part in many major breast cancer research breakthroughs in recent history, including demonstrating that mammography is an effective screening test for breast cancer, the development of tamoxifen and herceptin, and knowledge that genetics, diet, lack of exercise, and moderate drinking increase a person’s cancer risk.
- The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer¨ event unites communities across the nation each year to help save lives from breast cancer and provide hope to people facing the disease. Since 1993, nearly six million walkers have raised more than $400 million through Making Strides. To learn more, visit cancer.org/stridesonline.
- The Society and its advocacy affiliate ? the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN) ? advocate for important legislation and public programs that provide increased access to breast cancer screenings, outreach and education, follow-up care and treatment for all people. Currently, ACS CAN is working to promote the need for and importance of increasing funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), which provides low-income, uninsured and underinsured women access to mammograms and follow-up services. Visit acscan.org/breastcancer to support increased funding which would enable hundreds of thousands more women to be served.
- Through the Society’s many breast cancer programs, there are numerous volunteer opportunities, such as driving patients to treatment, providing one-on-one support, helping mobilize community members to participate in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and much more.
Hit the Road
On the “Road to Recovery” a patient may find various obstacles standing in their way. One of those, which may seem to be insurmountable, is the simple act of getting to and from their various treatments.
Although family and friends are usually more than willing to help, sometimes, due to other obligations, they are just not able to do what needs to be done. At times like this ACS volunteers are there as “Road Warriors” to step in and give the patient the help they need. These volunteers will drive the patient in their own car to their treatment, they will wait for the patient to finish, then return the patient safely to their home. A patient must be sure to call ahead as soon as they foresee the need for this free service as it provided by appointment only. If a patient is unable to walk, they must ask someone to accompany them to help them in physically getting around.
Although our volunteers are happy to help, they cannot be used for all appointments. Then can only be used when all other efforts to find transportation have been exhausted. Just knowing that a patient will never have to miss a treatment because they have no way of getting there is one less thing to worry about. Unfortunately, our volunteers are not able to drive the patient to run personal or any other non-treatment related errands.
For more information on how this program can help someone you know, contact your local ACS office at 239-642-8800 ext. 3890 or go online at cancer.org.
ACS Marco Unit Upcoming Events
“Making Strides Against Cancer”
ACS’s premier event to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer. This annual event will take place in Spring 2011. Watch for further details coming soon.
April 30, 2011 Relay for Life
For the first time in the history of the Marco Island Unit we will be partnering with the Marriott Crystal Shores and have the Relay on the beach! Imagine celebrating survivors, remembering those that have passed on and joining together to fight back against cancer; all with the beautiful Gulf of Mexico as a back drop. Join us for what is sure to be a life changing experience!
February, 2011 Fashion Show Gala
Lots of volunteers will be required to make this event a huge success. Check for more information as plans develop.
For more information feel free to call, email or drop by the office anytime! 917 North Collier Boulevard, Marco Island, Florida 34145. 239-642-8800 (phone) 239-642-0027 (fax) Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org