Windsor Regional Cancer Center is proud to offer a new service for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
In August, the Paxman Scalp Cooling System (PSCS), also known as a ‘cold cap’, was made available on site for patients to book to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy.
The Paxman Scalp Cooling System (PSCS) is approved by Health Canada.
“It can definitely improve the quality of life and the outlook for many patients who are being treated for cancer,” says Nicole Sbrocca, director of the cancer program at Windsor Regional Hospital.
Hair loss (alopecia) is a common side effect of many, but not all, chemotherapy drugs.
“Chemotherapy-induced alopecia, or hair loss during treatment, can be an extremely challenging and devastating side effect of chemotherapy for our patients,” says Sbrocca.
“When patients are told of their cancer diagnosis, the first question they often ask is ‘will I lose my hair?’ Hair loss is more than cosmetic; it is a very personal and individualized challenge that comes with a life-changing diagnosis.”
In discussions with current and former patients and the Patient and Family Advisory Council, the Cancer Program found that there was strong interest in hosting cold strokes for the center.
“We wanted to reduce the burden on our patients and provide a service that could easily be coordinated on site, so patients didn’t have to manage it themselves. We did research, set up a team to understand how this service was operationalized in other centers, and we adopted it into our practice,” says Sbrocca.
The Paxman Scalp Cooling System consists of a compact cooling system unit that circulates coolant through specially designed single patient cooling caps, reducing the scalp temperature to approximately 18 degrees Celsius.
The session consists of 30-45 minutes of cooling just before the start of chemotherapy and up to 2.5 hours after the infusion, depending on the chemotherapy regimen.
“It’s not just about preserving hair during chemotherapy, it’s about promoting faster, healthier and stronger regrowth, allowing the patient to move on faster, and in some cases regrowth will begin even before chemotherapy is complete,” says Richard Paxman, CEO director of Paxman. Cooling the scalp.
There are costs associated with booking a scalp cooling system. The Windsor Cancer Center Foundation has generously provided funding to support this service for patients with financial need.
“I am currently having chemotherapy every 3 weeks and have had a very positive experience with the cooling cap,” says Leah R, a patient at Windsor Regional Cancer Centre.
“I was worried about my appearance and the cooling cap gave me the extra confidence boost I needed during this stressful time.”
Patients are asked to speak with their cancer care team for further details.
“Patient dignity is an important aspect of health and wellness, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to support initiatives like this,” says Houida Kassem, Executive Director, Windsor Cancer Center Foundation.
For more information, visit www.paxmanscalpcooling.ca
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