A program design to support women during cancer treatment is being offered for the first time at Yarra Ranges Health in Lilydale.
For all women living in the Yarra Ranges and its surrounding municipalities who are undergoing, or about to start cancer treatment, Look Good Feel Better program is free.
Kim Brookshaw, occupational therapist in palliative care/oncology of Yarra Ranges Health said the program helped women to manage the appearance-associated after-effects of cancer treatments and enhance their self-image.
At the two-hour workshops conducted by trained volunteers, women learn techniques in dealing with changes to their skin, loss of hair and other appearance-related concerns.
The program which is also held at Ringwood Private, Maroodah and Box Hill hospitals, improved life of cancer patients, said Ms Brookshaw.
It was and important addition to the array of services already offered by Yarra Ranges Health's oncology and outpatient palliative care clinic, she said.
Establishment of the program here at Yarra Ranges Health is important to our goals of improving accessibility of high-quality health care for people who live in Melbourne's outer-eastern region - women living locally won't need to travel so far to complete it.
Healesville resident Lesley Emmerson who was involved in the program March last year said she did it to look better for her stepdaughter's wedding.
I normally wouldn't worry about it, because who am I going to impress out in the paddock?
However, my stepdaughter's wedding was coming up and I though it would be nice to do something.
Sometimes you don't even have to be sick to look sick. Cancer can sometimes feel like a really bad flu, and when you're feeling lousy it's a bit amazing what a bit of mascara can do.
For Mr Emmerson, 50, the opportunity to talk to other cancer patients was what she enjoyed.
I think for the people who are not doing so well, they get a real boost from the people who are doing well and staying positive, she said.
Since its establishment in 1990, Look Good Feel Better has helped more than 80,000 Australian women. Workshops are now offered at more than 160 hospitals and cancer centres Australia-wide.
Look Good Feel Better workshops will be held on April 14, July 28 and October 27 at Yarra Ranges Health, 25 Market St, Lilydale.