CHILLING OUT: Nurses Kim and Kristy try out the Paxman cooling cap for size.
CHILLING OUT: Nurses Kim and Kristy try out the Paxman cooling cap for size. Melanie Keyte

Queensland-first techology allows cancer patients to keep their hair

YOU would never know it to look at her, but Jane Pitman is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer.

The reason she looks so well is largely due to her being able to keep her hair, thanks to a Queensland-first technology unveiled at the Sunshine Coast Haematology and Oncology Clinic in Buderim last month.

The Paxman scalp cooling cap works by lowering the temperature of the scalp to reduce blood flow to hair follicles, thus minimising the effect chemotherapy drugs have on one's hair.

Ms Pitman, who has been using the machine for about two months, said it's made the world of difference to the way she sees her diagnosis.

"You feel as though your life is normal," she said.

"People forget I have cancer, because I have my hair and so that's one positive thing."

 

Jane Pitman said she feels normal, even though she's currently undergoing chemotheraphy for cancer.
Jane Pitman said she feels normal, even though she's currently undergoing chemotheraphy for cancer. Melanie Keyte

Invented by the Paxman family, who also invented the beer cooler, the scalp cooler has slowly spread throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and now in Australia.

Richard Paxman, CEO of the family business, said it's not just about aesthetics either.

"Research shows that 8% of patients will refuse chemotherapy because of hair loss, so the availability of this treatment could literally be life-saving," he said.

"There's also been research leaning towards less anxiety levels and less depression which can have a positive impact on patient outcomes as well."

The cap has been reported to work for most cancer types and patients, and can get as cold as 3°C while lowering the scalp temperatures to around 18°.


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