The Paxman system is used all over the world in helping prevent hair loss for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
There have been many successful outcomes for patients using our coolers; don’t just take our word for it, read some of the testimonials we have received from around the world.
Brief overview of how the system works
A soft lightweight silicone cap is placed on the patient’s head which is connected to a small compact refrigeration system. The scalp temperature is lowered by circulating a special coolant through the cap and is maintained at a constant temperature throughout the treatment period.
The cap is worn for approximately 20 – 30 minutes before the chemotherapy is administered and continues to be worn during this time and for a period after, dependent on the type of drugs being given, which can range from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
- high level of patient tolerance and acceptability
- Risk of hair loss is greatly reduced and patients’ self confidence is therefore improved
- Self image is preserved which leads to positive attitudes towards treatment and recovery
- Social life and activities need not be inhibited
- Proven success rates
Where can I get treatment?
The Paxman hair loss prevention system is successfully used in hospitals and treatment centres worldwide.
To find out where you nearest hospital is located, please type your postcode into the box below.
Patient acceptability is high, the system is easily portable and does not require the use of large cooling cupboards or fridges – a great advantage when the chemotherapy clinic is busy."
J Richard C Sainsbury MD, FRCS Consultant Surgeon
Picture 1 - Pre Treatment Picture 2 - Post Treatment
I was diagnosed in July '12 with a very tiny tumour that had not moved into the sentinel nodes. The surgeon who did the lumpectomy said that I should definitely have radiotherapy, but the decision on whether to undergo chemotherapy or not was for me to discuss with the oncologist.
I was extremely reluctant to have the chemotherapy treatment, largely because at the time I was diagnosed I had long hair and dreaded losing it. However the oncologist was definitely in favour of a course of 4 rounds of adjuvant chemotherapy. When I shared my hair concerns he told me that they had the Paxman cooler system, and the knowledge that I might not have to lose my hair was a big factor in me accepting the treatment. Only the first 10 minutes or so were mildly uncomfortable, but I didn't have any headaches or other side effects from the cooling.
I had cut my hair shorter before I started, and was very careful when washing or combing it. Of course I did shed quite a bit, but interestingly feel that much of that was stress related, many of the hairs showed the normal keratin bulb of a resting hair and I was still losing them long after the drugs would have been having an effect. Of course these hairs are shed as a new one grows in and I'm sure the cooling protected the follicles very well as there was never a time when the hair actually looked like it was falling out. I finished treatment in Mid-October '12 and by the beginning of December the excess shedding had stopped. I felt the results of using the Paxman were very, very impressive, I lost other body hair and I'm convinced that without this system I would have had no chance of keeping my appearance almost unchanged.
Thank you again for this system, it made an immense difference to my life at a most difficult time.
Gleneagles/ Mount Elizabeth Hospital (part of the Parkway Group), Singapore
Picture1 - Pre chemo, Picture 2 - Post chemo, Picture 3 - 1st hair cut (6weeks post chemo)
"For me hair loss is the only sign of being a breast cancer patient. As I’d had my cancer lump removed with breast conserving surgery, my chemo was purely preventative and I was no longer a cancer sufferer.
At the start of my treatment plan, I didn’t want the chemo – no one does – but if I was going to have it, it would be on my terms – you have limited choices about your surgery, chemo, radiotherapy etc but you can try to control the visible signs. I didn’t want to lose my hair and show the world I had had cancer. Seeing a friend or family member with no hair would be shocking to me. I didn’t want them (and me) to see me like that.
I wasn’t aware of the Paxman cooler until I went to a presentation at The Haven Leeds. The timing of the session with Claire was perfect – the day before the appointment with the oncologist to learn about and plan my chemo. I believe that the timing was perfect and meant to be.
The Paxman Cooler is easy to use – I operated it myself for each of my 6 chemo sessions, with a bit of help to make sure the cap was fitted properly. When you turn the pump on you get the initial “oooo, oooo, oooo” of cold circulating which to be honest is freezing – but not as cold as a gel cap from the freezer which is usually offered. Once the first 10 minutes were over, I hardly noticed it and in that time your chemo nurse is giving you steroids/ anti-sickness/ asking you how you’re coping and sleeping etc. The final cooling times can be tough – particularly if you have 2 hours like me – but it depends how much you want to keep your hair. I occupied myself with books and films and the time went quickly.
Some of your hair will fall out. You have to be prepared for it. The first time it happened to me it was a shock to see dark, thick hairs in the shower tray. Some people may think at this point its not worked – bear with it and don’t panic. I continued to treat my hair gently and with respect, and I estimate I lost c.20-25% of my hair in total.
My key piece of advice is that you have to believe in the treatment. If you think it won’t work, chances are it won’t. But I really believed in the cooler – I wanted it to work with a passion, and it did. Some people just can’t cope with the cold as well as the chemo infusion but it is worth serious consideration before you start your treatment.
Shortly after my last chemo, I didn’t look like me which was hard to deal with. Although I had my hair, it was different style to before given I hadn’t had it cut for 5 months, I look tired, had gained weight and lost the majority of my eyebrows and eyelashes. On a positive note, I am a different person physically and mentally– what a cliché but it is true. I spent chemo thinking once it’s over I can get back to being the old me. But now I don’t think that – I don’t want to be the old me – the old me got sick. This is a new me and having hair to re-style has been great fun. I can be anyone straight away without having to wait for 12 months or so for my hair to grow back.
The cooler was so successful; my hairdresser said my hair has never been in such good condition. I put this down to a combination of an organic diet, using organic hair products, no straightners, all complementing using the Paxman cooler. My hair had actually grown 2-3 inches in 4 months over the course of the chemo.
Friends, including fellow cancer patients, have recently said to me that they didn’t think it would be so effective. The proof is in the photos below. My advice would be to try it – what’s the worse that can happen - your hair may still fall out or it might just work as well for you as it did for me.
I am eternally grateful for the Paxman cooler, which made my cancer journey just a little bit more bearable. I am passionate that all cancer patients should have information to make choices about hair loss, and that my experience should benefit others and that’s why I support the CHWH campaign."
I met up with my consultant and nurse who came up with the idea of trying out the cooling cap. Cooling Cap, what was the Cooling Cap? What was this going to do for me? My nurse explained the Cooling Cap to me and I thought I must give this new state of the art technology a try. I had nothing to lose. I would have tried anything to prevent the loss of my hair. The Cooling Cap is like putting a bicycle helmet on your head. Yes, it’s minus five and it’s very cold, in fact, it’s freezing but once its on you forget about it.
The Cooling Cap is used 30-45 minutes before your treatment and after your treatment is finished the cooling cap stays on for up to 1 – 2.5 hours depending on the treatment you’re receiving.
After 8 treatments of chemo and using the cooling cap, my hair has thinned slightly but nothing that was noticeable. The Cooling Cap was a saviour for me and I would recommend it to anyone diagnosed with Breast Cancer/Cancer wanting to prevent the loss of their hair.
What I got from the cooling cap
- Prevented the loss of my hair
- My confidence within myself was high
- I stayed strong and positive about my treatment/chemo and having my hair helped my strength and positivity
- Most of all I never told my 9 year old son about my breast cancer and with the cooling cap preventing the loss of my hair was a saviour to my son.
The first few minutes of the treatment are a shock to the system – it’s like diving into a pool of cold water. However it was something I soon acclimatised to and within about 5-10 minutes the initial feeling of discomfort settled down. Be prepared for that and be patient with the knowledge that it is worthwhile.
I’m so glad that I decided on the use of the hair loss prevention system – I kept my hair and was able to walk into my local pub without standing out from the crowd and being given the sympathy vote. It helped with my recovery and gave me a big boost to be able to carry on as "normal".