With the opening of the Duke Cancer Center this week comes a new resource for cancer patients in the region.
The Belk Boutique, a 1,000-square-foot store on the main level of the new center in Durham, offers items and resources that cancer patients need as they recover.
Duke has had a self-image program for many years, providing some items such as wigs, hats, turbans and scarves for free to patients who are losing hair, said Cheyenne Corbett, director of Duke Cancer Patient Support Program. Duke also offers one-on-one counseling with patients as they lose their hair and experience other side effects from their treatment.
"We do that primarily with professional volunteers and we have therapists who can attend to body image and self image issues that somebody has," Corbett tells me.
The new boutique is a place where Duke can offer these and a variety of other cancer care services and programs. The store includes items such as relaxation CDs, journals and jewelry. It also offers the services of a certified breast fitter for women who have had a mastectomy.
Some services and items come with a small charge; others are free. The Belk Boutique is open to the public.
Corbett said the Triangle is lucky to have boutiques in the region that provide some of the same services. But, the goal at the Belk Boutique is to offer a place where patients can get everything they need before they head home, in some cases, to communities with no resources.
"There are some community boutiques that are terrific," she said. "We wanted to be able to offer it all in one place to make it convenient to people and for people who live in communities where there aren't any."
Click here to learn more about the Belk Boutique.
Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor, usually offers health tips and information every Tuesday.