Women cancer patients learn makeup tips in new Egypt workshop

Author: 
Reuters
ID: 
1542042777389895800
Mon, 2018-11-12 16:55

CAIRO: When cancer patient Merhan Khalil had a bone marrow
transplant and chemotherapy in 2012, her hair started to fall out
in the shower. On Saturday she joined a Cairo workshop that teaches
female cancer patients how to conceal signs of cancer
treatment.
“It helps a lot mentally … to feel beautiful and to feel that
the medicine didn’t change us,” said Khalil, 46, who suffers
from multiple myeloma, a blood plasma cancer.
The workshop is part of a program already in operation in Lebanon
and the UAE called “Be Beautiful” that will be launched this
month in at least seven hospitals in Egypt. It will offer women
cancer patients makeup tips as well as mental health support and
advice about nutrition.
“When the cancer patient feels that she is beautiful and when she
gets proper nutrition that will have a positive effect on her
mental state and that strengthens her immune system,” said Hanadi
el-Imam, founder of the Hoda el-Imam Foundation, which is
organizing the workshops.
She said the aim is to offer the workshops in five Egyptian
governorates within a year.
Faten Fawzi, a breast cancer patient who was among a group of five
patients learning how to paint their eyebrows and apply conditioner
on dry skin at the Cairo Marriott Hotel, said she felt like her
hair was burned after chemo.
“I went to my hairdresser and he shaved it off completely and I
was devastated and started crying,” Fawzi, 46, told Reuters.
“But after that I put on a chic wig that looked like my hair and
you couldn’t tell at all that I had cancer.”
While she recently got rid of the wig, Fawzi said she still paints
her eyebrows and cares about her makeup routine because it makes
her feel better.
Ghada Salah who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, said she
started to experiment with different wigs and colorful hats after
she lost her hair to chemotherapy.
“I didn’t want to look sick,” she said. “I didn’t want
people to think ‘poor her, she has cancer.’”
The organizers hope to serve 5,000 Egyptian women in the first
year, said Dina Omar, a cardiologist and one of the founders of Be
Beautiful.
Globally, cancer is responsible for one in six deaths, according to
the World Health Organization. Approximately 70 percent of deaths
from cancer happen in low and middle-income countries, WHO
said.

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Women cancer patients learn makeup tips in new Egypt workshop