CANCER. Possibly the most spine-tingling word in the world yet a condition which some refuse treatment for because of the distressing side effects. But Walk the Walk, a breast cancer charity, has granted St James’s Institute of Oncology in Leeds £250,000 to go towards the installation of special machines that help prevent hair loss in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Twenty-one scalp cooling machines will be installed at St James’s, one of the largest specialist cancer treatment centres in the UK. Research has shown that the ground-breaking machines are effective across a wide range of chemotherapy drugs to help minimise the damage caused to the hair follicles and reduce or even prevent hair loss.
Hair loss is one of the most recognisable signs of a cancer patient, and apart from going through the physical ordeal, many must deal with the emotional effects as well. Some decide to have wigs prepared, others wear hats or headscarves. Most of the time, cancer-induced hair loss is reversible. Hair growth usually resumes within a year of finishing therapy and if not, clinically proven hair loss treatments can help to get the ball rolling again. However, as the medical mantra goes, prevention is better than a cure.
Scalp cooling machines work by lowering the temperature of the head and scalp immediately before, during and after chemotherapy, restricting the amount of blood that reaches the hair follicles. This is thought to protect them from the effects of the concentrated drugs carried in the blood stream. It is hoped the scalp cooling machines will help improve patient’s self-esteem and quality of life during the difficult time.
To find out more about hair growth after cancer treatment, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or send an email. If you are unable to visit the centre for a free initial consultation, you can still take advantage of our mail-order hair loss program by completing the online diagnostic form.