A well-known side effect of chemotherapy is hair loss. Whilst the treatment fights against dividing cancer cells, it also targets the body’s rapidly dividing cells – and hair follicles are the perfect example of this. But it seems one woman has managed to retain her hair throughout chemotherapy, putting her success down to a cold cap she used throughout her treatment.
Cold cap success
Mandee Castle, from Walmer, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. She expressed her desire to keep her hair during treatment, and gave a scalp cooling treatment a go after the recommendation by a friend who had also successfully tried it.
The hospital told Mandee there was a 50-50 chance of the cooling treatment working, but she was determined to try it.
Four years later and Mandee has become one of the UK’s first Paxman Pioneers after only losing a small amount of her hair. She used the Paxman Scalp Cooling System before, during and after her chemotherapy.
“Overall, I only lost about 40 to 50% of my hair, but with my hats and headbands I could do comb-overs to cover any patchy areas.”
Extolling the virtues
Hair loss is an unfortunate side effect of chemotherapy, often adding to the trauma of what the individual is experiencing. Mandee believes that more information should be made available to patients and everyone involved in their care as to the benefits of the cold cap.
A strength Mandee found was that not only did it allow her to have the normality of styling her hair, but also it meant it was up to her if she wanted to tell someone about her treatment for cancer.
Many have dubbed the cooling system as “world leading” in regards to patients retaining their hair. Richard Paxman, the managing director of Paxman, has said the cooling cap receives “fantastic feedback from patients, family, friends, medical professionals and many more on a daily basis”.
As of now, over 100,000 patients in 32 countries have used the Paxman Scalp Cooling System. Many people are undoubtedly finding success with the treatment and if retaining your hair during chemotherapy is important to you then it may be well worthwhile pursuing.