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Thank you for subscribing to Cancer Care, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with useful information about cancer care and prevention. To learn more about our services and community events, or to find a physician, visit www.Avera.org.

To your health,

The Avera Staff


Appearance is closely linked to self-esteem and well-being, and can be all the more important when facing a challenge to your health. Knowing a few tricks for keeping up your appearance during treatment can help pick you up during a difficult time. Throughout a five-state region, Avera facilitates workshops that help people look and feel their best during treatments.

The Look Good ... Feel Better program is a community-service program, developed by the American Cancer Society and offered at many facilities. The program helps boost self-esteem by providing hands-on workshops that teach cancer patients skin care and makeup application. The workshops include information on dealing with cancer-related appearance concerns, including hair loss, nail care and selection of wigs and scarves.

People who have participated in the program say it gave them renewed confidence and hope. For those who work in the public, the program helped them feel more comfortable interacting with co-workers, as well as with their friends and family. The program is open to women currently undergoing cancer treatment. Participants must pre-register for all Look Good ... Feel Better group sessions.

Click here to find the program at your nearest Avera facility. For those who can't make it to a workshop, self-help kits (including a booklet and 30-minute video) are available by calling 1 (800) 395-LOOK. One-on-one salon consultations are also available in some areas.

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It's normal to feel tired and emotionally low during treatments, and you may be discouraged if side effects change your looks. Besides looking good, you may find that you feel more in control of your treatments when you take time for your appearance.

If you aren't able to participate in more formal services like the Look Good ... Feel Better program listed above, there are some simple things you can do on your own to start feeling better.

• Even if you're not leaving the house, put on nice clothing, style your hair or shave.
• Exercise regularly, even if it's just leisurely walks. Don't overdo it.
• Continue your regular dental and personal hygiene care.
• Have a makeover, facial, pedicure or manicure with friends and family.
• Consider wigs or scarves if you've lost hair. Some Avera facilities offer wig consultation.
• Alter your clothes if they no longer fit correctly.
• Talk to your hospital's social worker about programs tailored to your needs.

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In Great Health online archive.