Preventing hair loss possible for chemotherapy patients

The Cancer Centre at St John of God Murdoch Hospital has purchased a scalp cooling system, DigniCap®, to help prevent hair loss for patients while they are undergoing certain chemotherapy.

Oncologist Daphne Tsoi says individuals are different in terms of how they feel about losing their hair through chemotherapy.

“Some of our patients don’t mind too much and some find it very traumatic. By having this equipment at the Cancer Centre, we can add another layer of comfort for our patients who are already experiencing a difficult time, without the added stress of losing their hair.”

Some chemotherapy drugs can damage your hair cells. By wearing the DigniCap® 30 minutes before, during and for a set period after treatment, the cells are protected and thus aids in the prevention of chemotherapy induced hair loss.

Patient Gail Chambers used the DigniCap® for her chemotherapy sessions at the hospital and said that losing her hair was one of the things she worried about most.

“Losing your hair from chemotherapy is a real reminder of your illness when you look in the mirror so it was a huge comfort to me to not have to deal with this side effect. My hair thinned slightly but that was it, so I was really delighted to have had the opportunity to use the machine,” Ms Chambers said.

The DigniCap® technology was generously funded through the St John of God Foundation by the Somas family and Audio Hub Subiaco.

The Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Nick Harvey says “Our patients deserve only the best; we are delighted to have been able to contribute to Gail’s experience thanks to the generosity of our donors.”

 

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