PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia cancer center helps patients find beauty. The center is outfitted with a specialized beauty salon and spa.
It’s one-stop shopping for cancer care, where you get traditional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation along with spa services that patients say makes fighting cancer easier.
With another round of chemotherapy, Tara Lessard is losing her hair again.
“So I started out being diagnosed with four stage ovarian cancer,” Lessard said.
That was four years ago, when Lessard was just 42 years old. Since then, she’s had several more bouts with cancer.
“My hair used to be super long,” Lessard said. “So hair loss was huge.”
Now at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, in their spa called the Imagery Recovery Center, Lessard received help with a wig.
“This would be something that I think Tara would definitely like,” Danielle Johnson, a certified trichologist, said.
Her color selections are made with a specially-trained experts at the spa.
In addition to hair, patients can also have all kinds of spa services.
“So what I do here for patients is ease the anxiety, “Johnson said. “I help them through the journey process, but on top of all that, I provide all of their beauty needs.”
Beauty treatments like a pedicure have to be tailored to cancer patients. Their skin and nails are weak and they’re vulnerable to infections.
“That sort of supportive care that we offer here really makes a big different,” Cancer Treatment Centers of America chief of surgery Dr. Justin Chura said. “It’s not just, ‘come in and get some chemotherapy.’ Being able to look like themselves, feel like themselves and it helps them, I think, in terms of coping with the diagnosis.”
For Lessard, fighting cancer has become a management of treatments with frequent visits to the spa.
“The chemo as it breaks down the active cancer cells, I feel I’m built back up by the other services that they offer,” Lessard said.
Now, with a wig that looks like her real hair did, Lessard feels more normal.
Lessard said she also gets special massages at the spa, which help ease some of the pain associated with the treatments that she’s undergoing.