Tonya Papanikolas Reporting With more people living longer with cancer, the needs for survivors are growing as well. Today cancer patients have many programs and classes available to them to help them cope with the disease. Tonya Papanikolas reports on two options that patients say make them feel better.
Male and female, young and old, a yoga class draws a diverse crowd. But they all have something in common--cancer. They're either patients themselves or friends and family of patients.
Bill Bogdan, Does Yoga for Cancer: “You feel good, and even better than good when you're finished. And it's time, an hour, very well spent."
In the last decade or so yoga has become a popular form of complementary cancer therapy. While it does not slow cancer growth, students say it helps them relax. The Stanford Cancer Center says yoga's been shown to relieve some symptoms of cancer. The postures can ease aching limbs and muscle tension.
Paulette Gasparac, Does Yoga for Cancer: “It's been really good. It's been helping me with my balance."
Bill Bogdan: “This is just a supplement to my feeling better."
Feeling well when you're in cancer treatment is hard enough on its own, but add in the fact that your appearance can change and many people say it's extremely difficult to take.
Laurie Gordon, Cancer Patient: “You wash out so bad with chemo and your skin changes and you’re like, ‘It doesn’t even look like me.’”
Liz Carr, Cancer Patient: “That is what I was most afraid of was losing my hair. When you lose it, it's like part of you is going away, even though you're the same person."
While patients can't stop the physical side effects from happening, a program through the American Cancer Society is helping to camouflage them.
Laurie Gordon: “I think sometimes women, when they look better they feel better."
That's the theme of a free class where the women get $250 worth of makeup and instruction from a licensed cosmetologist. The women learn how to fill in their eyebrows if they're losing them and how to make the most of declining eyelashes. They also get to try on wigs and see how they look in different hair colors.
If they find a wig they like, they can take it home. If not, they also learn how to tie scarves. The women say the class was reassuring.
Laurie Gordon: “Makeup helps you feel a little more like you are still a woman, you still look good, you can do things to help yourself."
Liz Carr: “When they're losing their hair and you're losing your hair, it's like you've got a buddy. And it helps you feel better overall when you can get rid of the circles under your eyes and get the makeup on."
With more people now surviving cancer, it seems they also have more options to choose from as they cope with the disease.