Today, 1 in 8 women are expected to get cancer in their lifetime.
The effects of a cancer diagnosis can be devastating.
Not only does cancer ravage the mind and body, but it also sinks deep into a woman’s spirit as well.
The Canadian beauty industries charitable foundation has re-branded itself as Beauty Gives Back. The Beauty Industry has an intimate connection with how women feel about themselves. It’s a “feel good” industry – sexy, colourful and fun. With 95% of women as customers in their lifetime, the beauty industry uses colour to make women look good and feel better every day. Beauty gives back vows that they cannot, and will not, abandon those same women when they are fighting for their lives against Cancer and is focused on helping women beat and overcome an often overlooked element of Cancer they’ve called the “Cancer Blues.” With International and Canadian backers, the Beauty Gives back foundation includes key supporters such as Coty, Estee Lauder, Hudson’s Bay, L’Oréal, P&G, Shoppers Drug Mart and Unilever who have all joined together to bring awareness to this often overlooked part of the cancer journey.
Cancer treatment has been making steady advances in understanding and treating the disease, but the emotional fall out a woman experiences from cancer diagnosis and treatment is often ignored and the Beauty Industry is set to break that barrier. Over 87% of cancer survivors experience “moderate” or “severe” psychosocial issues relating to feelings of embarrassment and shame from the physical bodily changes they experience undergoing cancer treatment.
Sherry Abbot, the Executive Director of Beauty Gives back knows precisely what women diagnosed with cancer face. As a 25-year stage four ovarian cancer survivor, Sherry shares her experience with what the Cancer Blues mean to her;
“From feeling betrayed by my own body to the grief of never being able to have a family of my own, the fears, uncertainties and losses that come with a cancer diagnosis might have been the most difficult for me. Even decades later, the Cancer Blues continue to grip me as I live with physical and emotional effects of the cancer and the treatment I received.”
Scientific research studies are clear that the emotional state of patients has a deep impact on their ability to cope with their illness as well as their quality of life. Studies show that cancer patients in the UK are 7 times more likely to suffer depression and many of the same patients in the U.S. report dissatisfaction with the support they received relating to body image issues in part because there is a widespread lack of recognition regarding the rarely spoken about emotional side effect from cancer and its treatment: The Cancer Blues as a real and relevant condition.
The Beauty Industry has supported tens of thousands of Canadian women through the Cancer Blues for over 20 years with programs such as Look Good Feel Better and FacingCancer.ca. With their re-branding as Beauty Gives Back, they will continue using their industry experience and expertise to do what every woman trusts them to do – to make them feel better. There could not be more exceptional cause than to help restore woman’s confidence and make them feel human: both to fight during, and after the chaos of cancer and its treatment to help them live with conviction and dignity.
Beauty Gives Back is mobilizing its resources and partnerships to create a coalition of public awareness and recognition campaigns for the Cancer Blues in order to see to it that any woman affected by cancer knows they are not alone and are that they are aware to seek help in the same way they seek treatment for their cancer.
About Beauty Gives Back
Beauty Gives Back is the charitable foundation of the Canadian beauty industry, supported by the member companies of the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association and others committed to the cause who provide vital funding, as well as donate cosmetic and personal care products and a number of goods and services, all necessary to deliver its programs free of charge to thousands of women annually from coast to coast. Beauty Gives Back does not receive any government funding.
About the Programs
Look Good Feel Better is Canada’s only cancer charity dedicated to empowering women to manage the effects that cancer and its treatment can have on their appearance. At the heart of the program is the free, two-hour hands-on workshop where women with cancer learn simple cosmetic techniques, nail and skin care tips, hair alternatives and cosmetic hygiene, to help them look a little more like themselves again. Beyond beauty, it’s the support from other women, the sharing of empowering information, support of compassionate volunteers and laughter that helps workshop participants gain confidence, lift spirits and take control. Launched in 2010, FacingCancer.ca is a companion program to Look Good Feel Better, offering an online community where women with cancer and those who support them can share, con-fide and connect with each other to help manage the social and emotional effects of living with cancer.
For a woman diagnosed with cancer, fear and uncertainty become constant companions. But the ravages of cancer treatment bring unexpected visitors – the pity of friends, the anxiety of loved ones, and the shock of passersby – all painted clearly on passing faces and experienced every moment of every day.
In this poignant and emotional film, Dionne Warner, an 8-time cancer survivor shares her story and we metaphorically experience a bit of her struggle with the Cancer Blues – a term for the emotional distress caused by cancer and its treatment. Not only do we get a taste of how difficult it is for her to face the world everyday wearing her illness ‘on her sleeve’, but also how important it can be to gain back a bit of control through the techniques taught in the free workshops offered by the Look Good Feel Better program.
To learn more about Dionne’s story, click here. To find out more about Look Good Feel Better, click here.
How can you help?
We will be encouraging women to buy a blue eyeliner/eyeshadow, and for one day, to colour their eyes blue in support of women going through the emotional trauma of the cancer blues.