Am I going to lose my hair?
This may be one of the first questions you ask when you initially discover you will have to have chemotherapy treatment. As a family business borne out of our Chairman’s wife losing her hair whilst receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer, Paxman know first-hand that this is often devastating. We also know that it is entirely natural to feel anxious about the prospect of losing one’s hair, and that patient’s rank hair loss as their most feared and experienced side effect of chemotherapy treatment. The psychological effect of chemotherapy induced alopecia is high and may seriously affect one’s body image, which in turn has a dramatic impact on self-esteem and self-confidence.
Why does chemotherapy make hair fall out?
Chemotherapy works by targeting all rapidly dividing cells in the body. Hair is the second fastest dividing cell in the body and this is the reason why many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. The hair follicles in the growth phase are attacked resulting in hair loss approximately 2 weeks after the commencement of the chemotherapy treatment.
Does the hair always fall out?
Certain chemotherapies will cause hair loss and some will not - the best people to advise this are your medical support team of doctors, nurses and specialists who deal with the medication every day.
Scalp cooling or cold cap treatment?
The damage that chemotherapy causes to the hair follicle can be alleviated by using scalp cooling. Scalp cooling works 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 the hair follicles, thus preventing or minimizing the damage, meaning that hair loss is not inevitable. The Paxman Orbis Scalp Cooler offers the warmest, most comfortable and tolerable option over other scalp cooling systems due to its excellent heat extraction technology.
How long will it take?
This depends on the type of chemotherapy you are to receive, however the average time the cap is worn is 2 ½ hours.
Will scalp cooling work for me?
Many thousands of patients throughout the World have retained their hair using the Paxman scalp cooler when receiving their chemotherapy treatment. Successful scalp cooling depends on many factors such as type and stage of cancer, age, hair type, hair condition, general health.
It is important to understand that hair loss does vary from one person to the next and retention of all hair cannot be guaranteed. Research has shown that scalp cooling is very effective across a wide range of chemotherapy drugs such as: Epirubicin, Doxorubicin, Taxol and Taxotere. It is important to understand that you may experience some hair loss and overall thinning of the hair whilst using scalp cooling, and that the normal shedding cycle of the hair will continue. If some hair loss is experienced we would encourage you to persevere with scalp cooling – many patients report hair growth during their chemotherapy treatment whilst using scalp cooling as new hair growth is also protected from the chemotherapy.