Finding the Beauty in Cancer

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

This famous quote simply means to look beyond physical characteristics and appreciate a person for what they are on the inside. Sadly, in today’s society, almost everyone is trying to change themselves to resemble models who seem to be absolutely perfect – long legs, small waist, abundant breasts and buttocks, faultless skin and shiny hair. For cancer patients, the physical changes that come with treatment are especially burdensome.

Imagine having to chop off your breasts in your 30s when all of your friends are sporting the latest trends or nursing their babies. Coping with alopecia (hair loss) is also difficult when you see celebrities flaunting their luscious locks. These physical changes can also affect the way cancer patients think about themselves and their chances of survival. Some might think that they aren’t the same person anymore because they don’t recognize the person gazing back at them at the mirror.

However, the fight against cancer has a lot to do with believing in oneself. Beauty can give a woman inner strength to help her withstand hardships that come her way. Confidence can spell the difference between giving up and moving forward. Advocates, like make-up artist and survivor Jan Ping believe in the power of empowerment throughout treatment. She recognized the lack of information about beauty during treatment. Questions like:

Do i need to change the products I use during treatment?

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What brands are safe to use?

 Are there products that I need to add to my regimen?

…aren’t usually addressed in support groups or blogs. Ping and the Look Good, Feel Better Foundation believe that a woman shouldn’t change or give up her beauty regimen just because she has cancer – she only needs to modify them for her new needs. If she is a lover of lipsticks, then she could go ahead and wear her favorite color during her chemo session!

For example, since treatment makes you more prone to infection, then it is a good idea to regularly change your make up and your tools every 3 months. You should also think about switching to hypoallergenic/milder creams and lotions to care for your sensitive skin. Also, don’t skimp on SPF for your face and body – it’s very important to protect and keep your skin intact during treatment.

Wigs  made out of real hair are more expensive. Don’t worry though – there are numerous synthetic options that look and feel like the real deal anyway! You can ask the beauty experts from the Look Good, Feel Better Foundation for more information about beauty during treatment.

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