A prime-time Austrian TV show has been reporting on the work of a UK company which makes ‘cold caps’ that can help people to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy.
The country’s ORF2 channel featured British firm Paxman on its popular Heute Konkret news show, explaining to viewers that the company’s cold cap (better known as the Paxman Scalp Cooling System) was currently being trialled in several Austrian hospitals.
The news clip featured an interview with one woman – a Ms Jurjans – who explained how the cold cap had worked for her. Paxman claims that 85 per cent of patients who have used their device have enjoyed successful results.
Scalp chilled during treatment
The innovative cold cap works by chilling the scalp for an hour before and then during chemotherapy treatment. After a further 1-3 hours, the patient removes the cap and if everything has worked as it should have, the cooling of the blood capillaries in the scalp means that cancer drugs have not reached – or affected – the hair’s root bulb.
The Austrian TV show centred on use of the cold cap in Vienna, where doctors are currently putting the device through its paces. The Heute Konkret snippet featured comments from patients and doctors which echoed the words of cancer patients and their carers all over the world: namely that not having to show you are ill can make a big difference to the overall experience of being diagnosed with cancer.
Women in particular find losing their hair to cancer drugs to be extremely distressing, with so many of them feeling that their hair is a very important part of their identity. While men sometimes sport a shaven-headed or bald look by choice, it is something far less frequently seen on women, meaning that a cancer diagnosis often means depressing thoughts about wigs, headscarves and other methods of concealment. Paxman’s invention, which is now on offer for certain types of cancer treatment at dozens of UK clinics, can therefore be a real godsend.
Importantly, the company’s CEO Richard Paxman once said that: “A lot of people often think it could be vanity (which causes women to use a cold cap) and it is certainly not. We have seen that depression and stress can actually cause negative clinical results. If a patient has a weakened immune system due to depression and stress, this often means they don’t get as well as they should do.”
He further pointed out that around 8% of patients actually refuse chemotherapy because of fears about losing their hair – a phenomenon also remarked upon by Austrian doctors in the Heute Konkret show. “I have experienced not only once that patients who are told they will lose their hair have decided not to have any chemotherapy,” said one doctor.
As well as in Austria, Paxman is currently in the throes of clinical trails for its cold cap in the US, Germany, Holland, Japan and India, with one planned in Spain, too.
For people who are not able to use a cold cap, the glimmer of good news that doctors can offer is that hair often grows back of its own accord within about six months of chemotherapy treatment.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.