The American Cancer Society sponsors a community-based, free national program for women with cancer called "Look Good... Feel Better." These workshops are offered in cancer centers, hospitals, and other community settings across the country. Teams of trained beauty professionals teach skin care, makeup, hair and nails, and the use of wigs, hats, turbans and scarves. For more information, visit the American Cancer Society web site or call 1-800-395-LOOK to find programs in your area.

Moving Forward

Now that Debbie Dorsey's hair has completely grown back, she sports a short, stylish cut. Reflecting on the experience she says, "I never really accepted or felt comfortable with the hair loss. But I learned that being bald didn't rob my femininity."

Gallagher says that she doesn't know if her patients overcome their feelings through the hair loss experience, but they eventually feel that they are managing it. "That's what I'm aiming for. If a person says "Oh everything's fine, I'll be fine,' I get nervous. That overly bright persona tends to be more fragile than someone who has natural ups and downs."

Dorsey's message to readers is for people to learn and talk about cancer and cancer prevention. "Until they can find a cure for cancer, we need to stop fearing it and take a proactive role by getting yearly screenings." Dorsey was featured in a recent PBS documentary titled "No Hair Day," which follows the making of a photography exhibit and the experiences of Dorsey and two other women undergoing chemotherapy.