An appeal has been launched by East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity to fund a new set of scalp cooling caps to help more patients keep more of their hair while undergoing chemotherapy at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood.
Hair loss can be one of the most upsetting side effects of chemotherapy. It is the most visible sign that a person is having treatment for cancer and can affect self-confidence and sense of identity.
Scalp cooling caps have been shown to reduce hair loss, with 50% of patients retaining at least half of their hair.
Kim Kelly, from Northwood, had treatment for ovarian cancer at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in December last year and is supporting the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity appeal to raise the £44,000 needed to purchase another twin scalp cooler machine – meaning even more patients would benefit from the cooling caps.
Kim says, “When I was told that I needed chemotherapy I had preconceived ideas of what would happen to me physically, I was ready to cut off my shoulder length hair and embrace my hair loss. I then spoke to a friend who told me about the scalp cooling system. She had used the cold caps during her treatment for breast cancer and had kept most of her hair.
When I started my treatment I was fortunate that the scalp cooling cap was offered to me, but warned about how it feels. It’s like experiencing brain freeze as the temperature of the cold cap is -5oC. After the first 15 minutes it becomes more bearable.
I am so happy that I used the cold cap as I did keep most of my hair. I didn’t realise how much this helped me psychologically.
“At present Mount Vernon Cancer Centre has 6 machines for this, and I would love for more people to have the option of using a cold cap because it really does make a difference to your wellbeing.”
To help fund these much-needed caps and save more patients at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre undergoing treatment for cancer the additional upset of hair loss, please visit: www.enhhcharity.org.uk/coolingcaps