Aug 10, 2010 9:10 PM by Marnee Banks (KXLH-Helena)

Beauty program transforms Helena cancer patients

St. Peter's Hospital reports the number of women being treated for breast cancer in Helena is up from last year, so the hospital is using a new program to help those women "Look Good and Feel Better" at the same time.

The "Look Good Feel Better" program is a national campaign supported by the American Cancer Society and the National Cosmetology Association. Women who are battling cancer can come and get a makeup bag filled with products donated by corporations across America.

American Cancer Society Advisory Board member Shelley Olson says, "I just want them to feel like they did before they got that diagnosis that changed their life forever."

The "Look Good Feel Better" program is pampering women with the belief that someone who feels better heals better.

Olson, who also works as a Mary Kay consultant, adds, "They can go out and function as they did before. Which with the right attitude healing is completely different when you have the right attitude. When you have hope that is going to change how they heal."

"When patients are going through cancer treatment and chemo therapy especially, they have a lot of skin changes, they lose their hair, which becomes a really emotional and difficult thing to deal with as a woman. I think the Look Good Feel Better program helps them deal with that and gives them tools to use as things are changing for them" says St. Peter's Hospital Breast Program Nurse Navigator Kari Parmer.

The women also get to try on different wigs and take home one for free.

Olson hopes they walk away feeling beautiful. "More beautiful than they ever have before, even more so than their wedding day, their prom. I just want them to feel beautiful," she adds.

The free" Look Good Feel Better" classes are held the second Tuesday of every month at St. Peter's Hospital from 3-5 pm.

The following links provide additional information:

Look Good Feel Better

St. Peter's Hospital

American Cancer Society

National Cosmetology Association

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