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MEDICATION & RESEARCH


The Personal Touch For anyone receiving chemotherapy treatment for cancer, it is undoubtedly a difficult time


and the possible side effect of hair loss only adds to the trauma. Here, Kathryn Daniel, from scalp cooling specialist Paxman, reflects on the evolution of, and the story behind, the system designed to combat hair loss.


Over 25 years of research, development, clinical trials and dialogue with the medical profession have contributed to Paxman becoming world-recognised for the manufacturing and supplying of scalp cooling equipment. But there is a very personal reason behind the creation of the cold cap and its role in empowering cancer patients across the globe.


The journey began when mother-of- four Sue Paxman experienced firsthand the effect that chemotherapy-induced hair loss had on her quality of life. It was soon acknowledged that this trauma and sense of helplessness was commonplace in many patients, with alopecia consistently ranked in the top


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five most distressing side effects of breast cancer treatment.


Founder Glenn Paxman , Sue’s husband , therefore set out to provide patients with a choice.


Working in partnership with medical professionals, research centres, cancer support groups, charities and patients, the innovative scalp cooling system was born.


As chemotherapy works by targeting all rapidly-dividing cells in the body – and hair is the second-fastest dividing cell – hair loss is common approximately two weeks after the commencement of cancer treatment.


Chemotherapy drugs attack the hair follicles, but this damage can be alleviated using scalp cooling methodology. If the patient wears a cold cap and the temperature of the scalp is reduced by a few degrees immediately before, during and after the administration of treatment, cell division is decelerated, blood flow and chemotherapeutic drug diffusion to the hair follicles is lowered, and the side effect of alopecia can be prevented or minimised.


Success of the process is determined by how well the scalp temperature is lowered and maintained during chemotherapy. The Paxman cap has


www.tomorrowscare.co.uk


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