Not every man undergoing cancer treatment wants to or feels comfortable shaving his head.
To help men with their image while battling cancer, the Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital will launch Him II— a free image enhancement program— this month.
The program will be held quarterly with the first meet up on March 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. The meeting will be capped at 10 people, so reservations are required.
“Men are often overlooked in how they feel about their physical appearance during cancer treatment,” said Darci McNally, Director of Oncology Support Services & Community Outreach at LCI. “We created Him II as a safe space for men to learn image enhancement techniques such as selecting wigs and offering basic skincare tutorials.”
McNally has been working in cancer care for about 25 years, the last 19 of those have been spent at the Lynn Cancer Institute.
Recently, the institute took over a women’s cancer image enhancement program when the one run by the American Cancer Society disbanded. Preparing for the change in leadership, the institute fundraised to be able to provide both programs for free.
The new internal program for women is called Be U Tiful.
Participants in either program do not have to be receiving treatment from Boca Regional Hospital, McNally said. The programs are open to anyone in active treatment up to one year post-treatment.
“It is open to anyone in the community,” she said. “We are inclusive. We really want the men in this community to know we haven’t forgotten about them.”
The Be U Tiful and Him II programs help participants improve their mood, well-being and overall outlook on life by offering techniques to enhance their physical appearance. Him II was developed to offer services to men that are typically only available to women.
“We are entitled to still want to feel good and look good,” McNally said. “It means we have self respect for ourselves.”
Both programs teach techniques on coping with skin changes, hair loss, hand and nail care, scar camouflage and other cancer treatment related conditions.
Sessions are led by licensed cosmetologists with over 30 years of experience in the beauty and wellness field. All participants receive a complimentary cosmetic/grooming kit to take home.
The group discusses topics like how to cover your head or ways to camouflage scars.
“We are here to support the patients and our community at large,” McNally said. “We aren’t just treating a brest or a prostate, we are treating the whole body.”
Be U Tiful for women is held on the second Monday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon. Him II will begin March 12 from 10 a.m. to noon and be held quarterly while it gears up. The next sessions will take place in June, September and December.