Teenagers and young adults treated for cancer in Sheffield now have the chance to use pioneering treatment to prevent hair loss.
Scalp cooling company Paxman, partnered with Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, has introduced a new service for teenagers and young adults which will be delivered to hospitals around the UK.
Young people at the moment have no access to this cutting-edge treatment because they belong to different treatment units from adults. So even though 98% of adult cancer treatment units are equipped with scalp cooling machines, young people aged between 13 and 24 haven’t had the opportunity yet. The main reason is that only certain young people receiving chemotherapy are eligible to go through scalp cooling, which are those with solid tumour cancers such as breast, cervical or testicular cancer.
Helen Mervill from The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust said: “Young people tell us regularly how devastating it is for them to lose their hair during chemo as it is an external sign to their friends, family and the outside world that they are ill.”
Medical team delivering the service will be given comprehensive training about how to use Paxman Scalp Cooling System, which works by reducing the temperature of the scalp by a few degrees immediately before, during and after the administration of chemotherapy, ultimately alleviating the damage caused to the hair follicle.
It also includes a personal Cap Kit Bag to help achieve the best possible results. A selection of caps will be provided to act as a sizing kit to measure what size cap each patient needs. Made from lightweight silicone, the scalp cooling cap is soft and flexible – providing a snug, yet comfortable fit during treatment while moulding to all head shapes and sizes. Liquid coolant passes through the cap, extracting heat from the young person’s scalp, ensuring it remains at an even, constant temperature to minimise hair loss.
A trial has been carried out using the Paxman Scalp Cooling System in young adult units in Sheffield Weston Park Hospital, which was reported successful. More feedback from patients is expected to follow.