CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nearly 100 women have gained support and information through the free "Look Good Feel Better" program at Thomas Memorial Hospital, said Teresa Vickers, director of the hospital's Breast Care Center.
The program, offered at the hospital since 2010 in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, is geared to help breast cancer patients deal with appearance-related issues of treatment.
"The Look Good Feel Better program is offered at different locations by the American Cancer Society," Vickers said. "We wanted to make it part of our Breast Care Center so patients could go to one place to have their care managed."
At the center, all aspects of patient care are coordinated. A patient can be linked with a surgeon, radiation oncologist, or any other needed specialist.
The "Look Good Feel Better" program fits into the effort of offering a wide array of support at one location, Vickers said.
"The American Cancer Society brings in a licensed cosmetologist to go over proper application of makeup," Vickers said. "It gives you beauty tips and makes you aware of the process you should use to prevent infection that may delay your care."
Each participant leaves with a free makeup kit following the two-hour, hands-on workshop. The session includes skin care, makeup application, nail care techniques, and professional advice on how to deal with hair loss using wigs, scarves, hats, hairpieces and other accessories.
According to the website lookgoodfeelbetter.org, the free workshops are offered in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Go to the site or call 1-800-395-LOOK for more information.
At the program at Thomas, Vickers has noticed that participants often get to know each other and form friendships.
"It's kind of a networking time," Vickers said. "You may have someone new and someone who has been through it before. They can support each other."
She has seen attendees exchange fashion tips, treatment experiences, encouragement, and contact information.
The sessions have been offered there quarterly since October 2010. Since that time, nearly 100 women have participated, Vickers said.
The next two-hour "Look Good Feel Better" session is set for 3 p.m. March 31 in the Pavilion Conference Room B at Thomas Hospital, 4605 MacCorkle Ave. S.W. in South Charleston. Participants are asked to register so that the proper makeup to match skin tones will be available. To register, contact Rita Guthrie, breast health nurse, at 304-767-7766.
Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlo...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1246.