Look Good Feel Better sessions for men with cancer

5 June 2019, 09:29 | Updated: 5 June 2019, 09:37

Confidence-boosting workshops at Southend Hospital are helping men undergoing cancer treatment to look good and feel better.

The groups are aimed at helping men to manage the side effects of their treatment and meet others going through the same experiences as them.

The Look Good Feel Better sessions, which were originally run for women, help patients get advice on skin, nail and hair care.

Attendee, Kevin Sharp, aged 59, from Leigh-on-Sea had never had any skin problems until he began his chemotherapy treatment at the hospital.

Kevin admitted: "For the past six months my skin has looked miserable. I've got lots of sores, cracked and split skin, dandruff, so I attended the workshop in order to learn how to deal with it from the professionals and get some advice and tips on products. I have learnt a whole bunch of stuff about moisturising and cleansing."

Joining Kevin at the workshop was Michael Mann, aged 64, from Southend-on-Sea. Michael was quick to praise the supportive atmosphere of the workshop, adding: "The best bit of this session is hearing from other people and how they've solved issues and finding out there are solutions to things I went through years ago. My nails were like tree trunk rings, so after every session of chemotherapy I'd finish with another ridge on the nail." 

One of the professional hosts of the LGFB workshops at the hospital is skincare specialist, Carla Cunningham, a volunteer and regional coordinator for Look Good, Feel Better. 

Carla said: "I've been running the Look Good Feel Good sessions for women for four years and I could see the benefits that the ladies were getting but I was also aware that men are going through the same issues and problems but there was nothing for them. 

"We wanted to be able to offer them the same experience that women had and I am aiming for Southend to be one of the flagship hospitals for hosting men-only LGFB workshops." 

The workshops also cover shaving and scalp care and a qualified barber is available offering in-depth advice. There is space for up to 12 men and workshops will run every 2-3 months depending on the number of sign-ups.