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Look Good, Feel Better

Stacey LaFave, a social worker at the Fitzpatrick Cancer Center in Plattsburgh, displays makeup included with the Look Good, Feel Better program.

Stacey LaFave, a social worker at the Fitzpatrick Cancer Center in Plattsburgh, displays makeup included with the Look Good, Feel Better program.

— PLATTSBURGH — Sometimes, how you look makes all the difference in the world.

The American Cancer Society has a program called Look Good, Feel Better, which provides free makeup and help learning how to properly apply it, to women going through cancer treatments. It also provided wigs, hats and scarves, free of charge, to women who have lost their hair through chemotherapy.

“During cancer treatment, there’s sometimes a feeling of ‘I want to stay in sweats and not get off the couch,’” says Stacey LaFave, a social worker at the Fitzpatrick Cancer Center in Plattsburgh. “Sometimes putting on a little make-up and looking a little better can motivate people to get going and feel better.”

Chemotherapy very often causes a patient to lose their hair, including eyebrow and eyelash hair. It can also cause changes in the skin, including sun sensitivity, which can lead to a paling of the skin. Besides not feeling well physically, women undergoing chemotherapy often don’t feel good about the way they look. Look Good, Feel Better aims to change that.

“Cancer can really hit people at that lowest level of self-esteem. Not everyone experiences hair loss, but everyone experiences not feeling well...not themselves,” says LaFave.

Women taking part in the program are given a gift bag with about $200 worth of name brand makeup, donated by major makeup manufactures to the American Cancer Society. On the second Monday of the month, whoever has signed up that month meets and they are shown how to apply the makeup by cosmetologists who volunteer with the program.

The program also offers free wigs, hats and scarves, and training on how to properly fit the wigs and how best to tie the scarves.

“It gives them a little pampering for a day, in a period of time when they could use a little pampering.”

LaFave estimates the program helps between 24 and 30 women a year. She hopes that anyone who is undergoing cancer treatment, and did not know about the program, will contact CVPH and register.

Women wishing to take part in the program can contact the patient navigator at CVPH at 562-7100 (5010), or the American Cancer Society in Albany at 220,6963.

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