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Springfield, Branson Cancer Centers Help Patients 'Look Good, Feel Better'

A woman goes through her free samples at a "Look Good, Feel Better" session in Springfield. (Photo credit: Jennifer Davidson,

The "Look Good, Feel Better" program is sponsored by the American Cancer Society; it's designed to help women who are dealing with the physical changes of chemotherapy and radiation. Each month, classes are held at cancer centers throughout the Springfield-Branson area. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more. 

The Look Good, Feel Better class is a one-time, two-hour session that provides a day of pampering and beauty tips for women cancer patients adjusting to the physical changes caused by their treatments. It's part of a nationwide program with the Cancer Society and its participating partners. Tracelyn Sutton is a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society in Springfield. She says these physical changes often take an emotional toll as well, and the goal of the classes is to empower women.

“During cancer treatment, specifically chemotherapy treatment, chemotherapy targets every cell in the body. So, it affects your hair follicles, all of your skin cells; the very appearance of someone’s face often changes. This class goes so far beyond that. This is an opportunity for these ladies who are going through a difficult time in their life to meet other women who are going through a similar situation,” Sutton says.

Sutton says how we feel about ourselves is often dictated by our reflection in the mirror. She explains these classes are an opportunity for cancer patients to look beyond their physical changes and focus on what makes each person beautiful. Sutton says several cosmetologists volunteer their time to make this day fun and educational.

“Women who attend this class usually come in with maybe some confusion about what this class it about, and maybe why they’re there. By the time they leave they’re laughing, smiling, they’ve gotten to know the other ladies in the room. They feel so much better about themselves, and they also know there are resources and other women out there who are going through something similar,” says Sutton.

Sutton says classes are held each month at area cancer centers, including: Cox Health Branson location (formerly known as Skaggs Cancer Center), as well as Mercy Chub O’Reilly Cancer Center, and CoxHealth Hulston Cancer Centers in Springfield. There is no cost for the classes but reservations are required in advance. The next available class is scheduled for March 25th at the CoxHealth Hulston Cancer Center. That's located at 3850 S National Avenue in Springfield.

For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.

The local chapter of the American Cancer Society is looking for cosmetologists who would like to volunteer for the program. To learn more or to register for the classes call: 447-1475.