Tag Archives: Self Esteem

Federal Budget Games Hurt Cancer Research

Low Budgets Are Hurting Research
Low Budgets Are Hurting Research

When the American Society of Clinical Oncology released its Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer last December, the cancer news was good and bad. Advances in cancer research were achieving “extraordinary progress in the fight against cancer,” but budget cuts and years of flat funding were delaying efforts to turn research into effective cancer treatments, Science Daily explained.

Effective Cancer Treatments

ASCO highlighted three cancer treatments at the forefront of cancer news:

  • Genomics: the use of genetic research to personalize cancer treatment.

Research-Treatment Link

The report links the development of cancer treatment techniques and the drop in cancer death rates “to our nation’s investment in cancer research over the past four decades.” Unfortunately, Congressional sequester and mandated federal budget cuts have slowed the pace of cancer research. More than half a million Americans die from cancer every year, but ASCO warns that cancer fatalities could increase dramatically without adequate research funding.

Funding Commitment Needed

ASCO’s plea that “Congress do its part to re-ignite our nation’s commitment to cancer research” appears to have fallen on deaf ears. The National Cancer Institute’s 2014 budget was $4.9 billion, only a slight increase over its 2013 budget. However, as explained by NCI Funding Policy, “this increase only restores about 53% of the sequestration reduction that NCI experienced during fiscal year 2013.”

It is time for the Congress to stop playing budget games that hurt cancer research. As ASCO President Clifford Hudis points out, “Lives depend on it.”

Beauty Programs Boost Self-Esteem of Cancer Patients

Beautiful young woman looking in the mirror.
Beautiful young woman looking in the mirror.

One of the challenges cancer patients face is maintaining a positive outlook on life. How we view the world is strongly connected to how we view ourselves. If you feel good about yourself, that positive feeling colors everything in your life. You feel comfortable in your own skin and confident that you can meet the day’s challenges with success.

There’s a strong connection between self-esteem and physical appearance. When cancer and cancer treatments strip you of energy, appetite and even your hair, it’s hard to feel beautiful which can send your self-esteem plummeting. You know how low you feel when you have a bad hair day. Well, every day is a bad hair day for cancer patients — and loss of hair is just part of the problem. Cancer and cancer treatments can turn skin sallow and pale or make it blotchy and more prone to blemishes. Fatigue can leave dark circles under the eyes, and pain can make the face look pinched.  When chemotherapy causes hair and eyebrows to fall out, the face can look blank and undefined.

To counter the loss of beauty and boost the self-esteem of cancer patients, Look Good Feel Better was founded to support and encourage cancer patients to rediscover their natural beauty. Sponsored by the Personal Care Products Foundation in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, Professional Beauty Association and National Cosmetology Association, the program sponsors beauty makeovers and esteem-building workshops through local cancer organizations. It also offers an online library of beauty tips for women and men designed to show cancer patients how to minimize the effects of cancer on their appearance.