One of the biggest annual fundraising initiatives, Daffodil Day 2018 takes place on March 23rd.
Ahead of the day, the main sponsor of Daffodil Day 2018 Boots Ireland has conducted a national survey with women who have experienced cancer, revealing how changes to their appearance has impacted them personally.
The vast majority (92%) of those surveyed said they experienced physical changes due to cancer and the treatment they receive.
More than half (51%) worried their physical symptoms were an outward sign to others that they were sick, and 42% believed people would treat them differently because of this.
The survey revealed that the emotional impact of physical changes from cancer can run deep, with almost half (49%) stating they experienced anxiety, a third experienced sleep issues and 30% even said they felt embarrassed.
Symptoms such as hair loss are experienced by many and includes loss of eyebrows (51%) and eyelashes (46%).
The majority (77%) of women surveyed also revealed their skin texture changed due to cancer treatment, and more than a quarter (28%) experienced intense itching as a result of their treatment.
The research showed that using make-up and skincare products while going through cancer treatment boosted confidence in a large majority (73%) of women – and 63% said it helped them feel happier.
This year marks the fifth year that the pharmacy chain and the Irish Cancer Society have been working in partnership, and all Boots stores will sell Daffodil Day materials on the day.
Since the partnership began, Boots Ireland has trained over 130 Boots Cancer Beauty Advisors, and 142 Boots Irish Cancer Society Information Pharmacists, trained to provide practical tips and advice to help manage the effects of cancer.
Campaign ambassador Louise McSharry said: “I was surprised by how much of a blow it was to see myself without hair during my chemotherapy treatment – especially eyebrows and eyelashes.
“It’s one thing to feel sick, but to look sick all the time is a real challenge in terms of keeping your spirits up,” Louise added.
“The beauty advisors at Boots provide an invaluable service at a time when women really need support. These services are boosting confidence and happiness at a time when women need to focus on feeling well again – helping people who are living with cancer to feel like themselves again.”
Averil Power, Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society said, “With 86 stores spread around the country, Boots are well-placed to offer community support through their dedicated Irish Cancer Society advisors in both beauty and pharmacy.
Boots Ireland’s sponsorship of our national fundraising day will help us make Daffodil Day a success and ensure we can help more people affected by cancer and their families. We won’t give up until cancer does.”