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国立がん研究センター 中央病院

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Appearance Support Center

Keiko Nozawa, Naoya Yamazaki (Joint appointment in the Department of Dermatologic Oncology), Chikako Shimizu (Joint appointment in the Department of Breast and Medical Oncology), Masao Arikawa (Joint appointment in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery), Shoko Toma, Kazuko Aoki, Mio Ikeda


The Appearance Support Center aims to support patients to be able to "live in society" and to "live as a human" through clinical research and educational practices regarding patients'physical appearances.

Clinical activities

Our team consists of two clinical psychologists (one full-time and one part-time) specialized in cosmetics, and they are consulted by both in- and out-patients as well as their families for questions and concerns regarding physical appearance. Examples of issues are side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on skin, nails, and hair, scarring and epithesis from surgeries, and breast surgery. In order to expand our practice beyond solely consultation, we are currently developing a new team in collaboration with a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, medical oncologist, pharmacist, and nurses.

The outpatient space is open to the public from Monday to Thursday between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. during which patients can try on different products and consult staff. Despite limited hours for security reasons, we had 1,017 users from January to December. Additionally, we conduct a patient support program titled "Cosmetic Information" every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 p.m. Its main aim is to provide information to patients through group sessions. We had 97 sessions in which 428 patients participated. Twenty nine men participated in "Men's Consultation Day" held on the fourth Wednesday of every month from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. In addition, we offered long-term inpatients a special program at the transplantation ward three times this year, and a total of 11 men and women participated. Additionally, 13 patients attended our "Eyelash Extension Workshop".

As for individual consultations for new patients, there were a total of 1,577 consultations offered to 270 in- and out- patients. Patients'main concerns were coping strategies with specific symptoms. Following last year, consultations which include the seeking of stress relief increased as patients with pediatric cancer increased. There were also consultations of concerns over significant life events such as the coming-of-age ceremony, weddings, and questions regarding mortuary makeup. Additionally, partial components of individual consultations and survey researches were conducted at the Patient Support Research and Development Center, which opened in October 2016.

Research outcomes

Our center developed the "Clinical Guide of Appearance Care for People Receiving Cancer Treatment", with our focus on health practitioner's approach in dealing with cancer treatment side-effects that appear physically. This was presented at symposiums, including the Japanese Society of Medical Oncology. Additionally our center conducted a collaborative research on medical cover foundation cosmetics which is based on the measurement data of skin hyperpigmentation caused by chemotherapy with pyrimidine fluoride-derived anticancer agent and conducted a phase III, randomized trial evaluating topical corticosteroid therapy for the Facial Acneiform dermatitis by EGFR Inhibitors.


In order to support medical staff to practice appearance care, "The Educational Workshop Regarding Appearance Care for Cancer Patients" was held three times in a year (227 participants) for medical staff working at designated regional cancer centers and hospitals. Additionally, we were actively involved in mentorship for interns, and held monthly lectures for residents of the Department of Palliative Medicine.

Future prospects

Patients'needs for support regarding the changes in appearance continue to increase, and consequently there is high demand from healthy professionals for training on how to work with these patients. Although responding to all patients'needs is difficult due to the fact that fulltime staff are scarce, we hope to expand human resources and develop this emerging field based on research.


Sponsor: The Appearance Support Center (Center Hospital)
Conference title: The Educational Workshop on Appearance Care of Cancer Patients for Medical Staff: Basic course
Date: November 6th & December 3rd, 2016
Location (prefecture): Tokyo

Sponsor: The Appearance Support Center (Center Hospital)
Conference title: The Educational Workshop on Appearance Care of Cancer Patients for Medical Staff: Advanced course
Date: October 2nd, 2016
Location (prefecture): Tokyo

List of papers published in 2016


1.Yamazaki N, Kiyohara Y, Kudoh S, Seki A, Fukuoka M. Optimal strength and timing of steroids in the management of erlotinib-related skin toxicities in a post-marketing surveillance study (POLARSTAR) of 9909 non-small-cell lung cancer patients. Int J Clin Oncol, 21:248-253, 2016