In an historic appointment for the Cancer Patients Foundation, Senior Staff Specialist and Medical Oncologist Dr Rachel Dear has accepted a position on the charity’s Board of Directors.

The Cancer Patients Foundation has been running the national Look Good Feel Better program for 32 years, aiming to reduce the physical, psychological, and social impact of cancer treatment and helping to empower and build confidence in the patients who participate.

Dr Dear has long been an advocate of the program, saying “Specialising in the diagnosis and management of breast cancer I treat my patients holistically, not only managing their breast cancer with the best evidence-based drug treatment but also supporting their psychological and social needs. I have been referring my patients to the Look Good Feel Better program for 16 years and universally they tell me what a positive difference it makes to their self-esteem and confidence while they are going through cancer treatment.”

A 2021 Look Good Feel Better participant survey showed 92% of participants agreed that their appearance makes them feel confident, yet only 43% felt confident before attending a Look Good Feel Better workshop. After attending, this number more than doubled with 90% of participants saying they felt somewhat to very confident in their appearance, and 99% of respondents agreeing they would recommend a Look Good Feel Better workshop to other women with cancer.

The program has been designed to ensure Australian women, men and teens undergoing treatment for any type of cancer can receive the practical and emotional support that is so important in confidently navigating a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Through face-to-face workshops on skincare, make-up and headwear the program assists with the management of appearance-related side effects of treatment, while a range of virtual workshop topics address practical strategies to improve energy, mobility, nutritional health, and mental wellbeing. A Home-Delivered Confidence Kit service is also offered for those who are unable to participate in the workshops for health, travel, or personal reasons.

On her appointment to the Board, Dr Dear said, “Look Good Feel Better provides essential support for people undergoing cancer treatment and eases the burden on Health Professionals and the health system through the provision of their services. I firmly believe all patients should have the opportunity to access the resources they offer to manage the side effects of treatment and look forward to using my position on the Board of Directors to improve access and uptake to the program.”

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