Charity funding provides scalp coolers to help cancer patients retain their hair

Charity funded scalp coolers are helping local cancer patients to keep their hair while undergoing chemotherapy.

Two coolers have been funded by Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity to assist with treatment at Leighton Hospital’s Macmillan Cancer Unit. The items cost more than £30,000, which has all been generated by fundraisers.

Scalp Coolers
Katie Edge, Macmillan Lead Chemotherapy Nurse (second left), and Carole Salmon, Community Fundraiser (middle left), with members of the Chemotherapy Team.

Losing hair can be distressing for patients already under strain from dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The coolers provide patients with the opportunity to minimise any hair loss during chemotherapy, which can make a positive difference to their mental wellbeing.

Katie Edge, Macmillan Lead Chemotherapy Nurse, said: “We are really pleased to be able to offer this service to our patients with the purchase of two new Paxman Scalp Cooling Units.

“It is recognised within chemotherapy that hair loss is a distressing side effect for some cancer patients therefore to be able to offer this service will enhance our patients’ cancer experience.”

The Paxman units, which have helped more than 100,000 cancer patients worldwide, work by reducing the temperature of the scalp by a few degrees immediately before, during and after the administration of chemotherapy. This, in turn, reduces the blood flow to hair follicles, which may prevent or minimise hair loss.

Previous scalp coolers used to be uncomfortable to wear due to the temperatures that they would go to, however, the new coolers allow patients to be more comfortable.

Leighton Hospital’s new units allow patients to receive scalp cooling treatment within their local area and not have to travel far, such as to specialist centres, to receive the same benefits.

Emma Robertson, Charity Manager at Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been able to support the chemotherapy unit team to purchase the new scalp coolers.

“Speaking to the team and to patients who have benefited from the treatment, we really understand how important it is to offer this service, which isn’t currently offered as standard by the NHS.

“It is thanks to the generosity of local people who fundraise and donate to our Cancer Services Fund that we’ve been able to provide the coolers, so we’re extremely grateful for their support.”