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Making men look good and feel better too

Having successfully supported women for more than 24 years, national charity, Look Good Feel Better has developed a new programme to help men manage some of the side-effects of cancer treatment – providing expert advice all over the UK through, ‘Skin Fitness’ Workshops, a ‘Manual for Men’ and online tutorials.

Sarahjane Robertson, Executive Director of Look Good Feel Better comments: “Following extensive research, people told us there was a lack of support, especially when it came to men and their appearance. Many of the men spoken to were concerned that the visible side-effects would ‘give away’ the fact that they had cancer. Problems included suffering with dry flaking skin, hair loss and patchy regrowth, dramatic weight change, oral health problems and hot flushes. We were unanimously told that male cancer patients would value detailed information covering basic skincare, shaving, sun care, nutrition, fitness, body image and oral care alongside online tutorials and group sessions.”

183,000 men a year are diagnosed with cancer* and with little support specifically dealing with the visible side effects, it can feel overwhelming and men often feel they are just expected to ‘get on with it’. Austin, who was one of the first beneficiaries to attend a ‘Skin Fitness’ Workshop said “I’d heard of Look Good Feel Better, I’ve known about it for a couple of years but it’s always been about women. But it’s not just ladies going through cancer, it’s not just ladies losing their hair, it’s not just ladies having dry skin, so I think it’s a very good idea to now have a service for men so we can be shown ways to better our looks and boost our confidence.”

Following a successful pilot programme in 2017, the ‘Skin Fitness’ Workshops continue to be rolled out this year. To date there have been 18 of these ‘live’ sessions with 220 men benefitting from the new service. When asked, “Would you recommend this service?” 100% of those that answered said “yes” and 81% of people said that they found the session “very informative.”

One of those beneficiaries, Bob, comments: “It’s so good to finally see someone is taking an interest in the care and support available to men during and after treatment for cancer. It’s not easy for us guys to talk about skincare issues or to adopt any kind of routine. Advice was short and given by well-meaning female family members but as with all things cancer, it doesn’t always meet the need. Finally I met your team who not only empathised but gave good advice and were very supportive. I really hope this is just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg and that your support for men living with cancer will continue.”

The group workshops are currently held in a small number of locations so for those who can’t attend, there is also Look Good Feel Better’s ‘Manual for Men’ which can be viewed online or sent via post, as well as online tutorials.

The following services will be available to men of all ages and any type of cancer:

‘Skin Fitness’ Workshops Held at hospitals and cancer support centres, these group sessions offer advice on skincare and shaving/grooming and problems that may be faced as a result of cancer treatment. Hosted by Look Good Feel Better volunteer skincare experts and local barbers, it’s an opportunity to ask questions, learn new tips and techniques and meet others in a similar situation.

Manual for Men Working with a number of leading experts, this detailed booklet includes information on skincare, shaving and grooming, oral health, how to dress/what to wear as well as advice on nutrition and fitness. It is available free via email or post.

Tutorials Featuring Chris Foster (Award-winning Barber) , Anna Shaw (Stylist) and Paul Herrington (Make-up Artist and Skincare Expert) this series of tutorials covers information on how to manage dry skin, shaving advice, how to dress for your shape and how to disguise redness and dark shadows. To find out more visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk/men (site will be live from 25th September) *Cancer Research UK (2015).

About Look Good Feel Better

Look Good Feel Better is a national and international cancer support charity and is the only organisation dealing with the visible side effects of cancer treatment. The charity has been running their free confidence-boosting workshops in the UK since 1994, working with 105 hospitals and cancer centres and supporting 19,500 women and young adults face to face annually with thousands more supported online. Services are available to all ages, skin-tone and every type of cancer. Founded in the USA nearly 30 years ago, programmes now operate in 26 countries worldwide

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