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How looking like yourself can help you feel better, shown by 11 before-and-after pics.

This program wants to give women with cancer beauty tips as they bravely fight the disease.

Louanne Roark's grandmother was the kind of woman who always took pride in her appearance. But then she got colon cancer.

Roark says her grandmother would still ask her to paint her fingernails when she was too sick to do it herself, and even though ultimately she passed away, that time spent helping her grandmother look better and feel better — even toward the end — was life-changing.

Today, Roark is carrying that experience forward. She's the executive director of the program Look Good Feel Better. She said, "Our goal is to provide every person with cancer the opportunity to access Look Good Feel Better’s services to help restore their confidence, hope and, most importantly, their sense of self."


In these before-and-after photos, you can see how these simple makeovers make a huge difference for cancer patients.

Here are some amazing photos of women before and after their makeovers.

1. Katherine

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

2. Janice

Image by Look Good Fee Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

3. Brenda

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

4. Jean

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

5. Kat

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

6. Lisa

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

7. Jane

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

8. Mary

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

9. Michelle

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

10. Vimala

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

11. Vanessa

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

The Look Good Feel Better program was started over 25 years ago to provide makeovers for women with cancer.

It gives women the chance to learn everything they need to know, from professionally trained cosmetologists about keeping their wig looking its best or applying makeup that diminishes the physical toll cancer can take.

The program has helped almost 1 million people so far and hosts over 2,000 workshops each year across the country. But they could still use the word of mouth so more people know about Look Good Feel Better.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

Claire Weiner, a social worker in the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center PsychOncology Program, says their looks are definitely one of the things both men and women struggle with after a diagnosis. She explained that our appearance is part of our identity, so not looking the way you're used to can be an extra burden to carry during an already difficult time.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

A lot of the women who participate have similar reactions. What Roark says she hears the most at these events is that they were unsure of what to expect and resistant to the idea of a makeover. They go into the event feeling unsure and shy but end up feeling self-confident, excited, and proud of the way they look.

Image by Look Good Feel Better, used with permission.

You can't argue with the smiles on their faces post-makeover.

Makeovers aren't a cure, and not every cancer patient wants one. But for those who are struggling to feel like themselves as their appearances change due to harsh treatments, organizations like Look Good Feel Better can be a bright spot in a difficult time.

All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

As the saying goes, "You have to kiss a few frogs..."

Dating has certainly evolved over the years—we’ve gone from courtship being purely a financial arrangement (not that this trend has ever truly died) to knights jousting for a lady’s favor, to casual hookups … and now, romance is primarily found through an app more than anything else.

Technology used for meeting that special someone has become so advanced that you can base your search entirely upon specific interests. Like … oddly specific interests. Think a fellow cat person would be the purrfect match? There’s an app for that. Wish to “love long and prosper” with a fellow Trekkie? There’s an app for that too.

No matter the changes, one thing remains the same—dating is awkward. It’s got all the unspoken formalities of a job interview, disguised as innocent fun. The balance between playing it too cool and too eager is hard to find even for the smoothest among us, and usually results in total embarrassment. Even if we aren’t the ones committing those embarrassing acts ourselves, we are often the reluctant witness to them.

Terrible dates might not always be fun in the moment, but they can be just as important as the good ones. They can teach us a lot about ourselves and what qualities we want in a partner. And at the very least, they can teach us to embrace social clumsiness with a sense of humor.

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share a “funny or embarrassing first date story” for his ever popular #Hashtags segment. The best part—some of these awful first dates ended in marriage. There’s hope for us all.

Below, find 15 stories that are truly the the best of the worst. How do some of your first dates compare?

1. "After a nice dinner, she invited me to her house. On the way up, inside the elevator, I decided to push the button to stop between floors and give her a kiss... She had a phobia of closed spaces and she smacked my face as a reflex, two punches after we were kissing and laughing.” – @PanqueAlgarvio

2. “His jeans were so tight he couldn’t sit down. Stood at a bar stool the whole time.” – @onlyintheozarks

3. “Waiting 4 my date when an older couple asked me for a ride. my date came up and said sure! We drove them home & they asked us to come in. Date said “sure”. I pulled him back & asked why he wanted to hang w/strangers. He said ‘sh@t! YOU DON'T KNOW THEM!?’ We bolted!” – @natashaham75

facebook dating

Talk about a fashion faux pas.

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4. “Before the date, we had been chatting about books we liked and I talked about a great book I just read. We went on the date. I loaned her the book. She ghosted me.” – @thenextbarstool

5. “The worst first date I ever had was when my date locked his keys in the car and I had a curfew so he had to break his car window out to get me home on time. Didn’t think I’d ever see him again but we wound up married.” – @csleblan

6. “First date movie ‘Basic Instinct’ not realizing how suggestive it was. We just thought it was a mystery thriller! We left the movie discussing how each character could have actually murdered someone. We're married now.” – @Southrnbell_Amy

black people meet

There are worse first date movies tbh.

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7. “First date with my ex husband was a double date with his parents. The preview for ‘Speed Racer’ came on, and she leaned over me to say to her son, ‘You know what your dad's nickname in the bedroom is?’" – @theostoria

8. “A friend asked me on a double date as a blind date with his date's friend. I went to the bathroom and came back just in time to hear my date say to her friend, ‘why do I get the ugly one?’ I said good night to all three and headed home, leaving her w/the bill.” – @StevenTrustum

9. “He loved cheese. I was subjected to a 2 hour conversation/lecture about cheese, and why cottage cheese is not cheese!” – @Optimist_Eeyore

bumble

I'd like to see this two-hour cheese lecture.

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10. “He took me to an Asian fish market. We walked around looking at live & dead fish for a while. I don’t like seeing dead animals & I don’t eat seafood. Then we sat on a curb & he pulled out a ziplock bag of pineapple for us to share. I don’t like pineapple.” – @markayhali

11. “My cousin set up a first date for me with a family friend. During a break from dinner, Mr. Man follows me into the ladies’ room, comes up close and says in a low voice, ‘I shave my butt.’ Can’t remember what I said in response but the evening ended abruptly.” – @carli_zarzana

12. “I once took out my high school crush to a sports bar and ordered the spiciest wings there in an attempt to impress her. Not only was she not impressed. The next morning I woke up with heartburn.” –@Dmonster38

tindr conversation starters

Talk about a hot date.

GIF

13. “My date showed up with his bestie and girlfriend, and they talked through dinner about people I don’t know. Walking to the car, he gave me a wedgie because he thought he hadn’t been paying enough attention to me.” – @surrealDazey


14. “I was taking my date home and was pulled over by the police for speeding. When the cop came to my car, she jumped out and told him she had to get home. She walked home and I never heard from her again. I'm not sure who's #WorstFirstDate it was mine or hers!” – @eastriverbear

15. “After an evening of dancing with a first date, leaving the dance hall, I had to take a quick pee break. Rushing out to the parking lot, I see a lady, I grab her and swoop her around, and plant a big wet kiss on the lips. She was another guy's wife. Oops!” – @seadogskamore

date you

Only Gomez could have gotten away with it.

Giphy

Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

10 reasons to smile.

Since we're entering cold and flu season while also (still) trying to fend off COVID-19, we could all use some tips for boosting our immune system. We probably all know the standards—eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising—but did you know that joy can also give your immune system a kick?

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter can release neuropeptides that can help prevent illness from becoming more serious and help fight stress that can weaken your immune system. A 2003 study found that people with more positive emotional states were less likely to develop a common cold, a 2015 study found that laugh therapy helped boost the immune response in women who had just given birth and multiple other studies have come to similar conclusions.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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