NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 5:30 PM
The very group charged with helping cancer patients could be hurting them.
The American Cancer Society is distributing makeup kits, intended to help women feel better about themselves as they lose their eyelashes and eyebrows.
Yet some of the makeup in these kits could be toxic, charges Breast Cancer Action, a 60,000-strong advocacy group.
Each side is putting its best face forward, and maintains there is nothing to conceal.
“One of the chemicals we found, metyhlparaben, has been found in the lab to interfere with Tamoxifen, the most common breast cancer treatment,” says Karuna Jaggar, Breast Cancer Action’s executive director.
She is adamant that the San Francisco-based group is not advocating women stop wearing makeup, just that the ACS stop distributing kits that the advocacy group charges are dangerous if they include hormone disrupters and formaldehyde releasers.
“The American Cancer Society should be protecting patients,” Jaggar says. “They should not allow companies that use chemicals like this to participate in the program. That is all we are asking.”
The program in question, Look Good Feel Better, provides workshops and makeup tutorials to help women with cancer. Their website shows terrific makeovers.
The American Cancer Society was contacted at the national and New York City chapters,as was Personal Care Products, the D.C.-based lobbying group, but no one was available to be interviewed yesterday afternoon.
The American Cancer Society released this statement about its free program:
“Look Good Feel Better … helps thousands of patients each year cope with the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. LGFB, a collaboration between the Society and the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, is led by cosmetology professionals volunteering their time to teach beauty techniques, including guidance on the use of wigs, scarfs and cosmetics to improve patients’ low quality of life during cancer treatment. … Participants are provided information on the potential risks of cosmetics use.
“The majority of ingredients in products found in LGFB kits have undergone an assessment by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, an independent, non-governmental panel of scientific and medical experts that is supported by industry, the US Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. Scientific experts at the Personal Care Products Council review all products in the LGFB kits against additional criteria to minimize the potential for skin irritation. Because they are undergoing treatment, it is important for LGFB participants to discuss possible adverse reactions to these products with their doctor.
“The Society believes the benefits of Look Good Feel Better outweigh the minimal risks. However, as the American Cancer Society has done for more than 100 years, we will continue to carefully monitor our programs, including LGFB, and their impact on cancer patients to help us eliminate cancer as a major health problem and alleviate suffering from the disease.”
This is just not enough as far as Breast Cancer Awareness is concerned.
“Cancer patients in particular are very prone to chemical sensitivity,” Jaggar says. “We are pushing the world’s largest cancer charity to take a stand in their flagship program, to take a stand and protect patients.”