Hair loss is one of the most traumatic side effects associated with cancer treatment

The prospect of losing your hair can be one of the scariest aspects of chemotherapy. Scalp cooling caps have been clinically proven to help reduce hair loss. We need to raise £44,000 to purchase two dual patient Paxman scalp cooler systems with 15 different sized caps. This will allow more patients having chemotherapy at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre have the opportunity to use them during their treatment.

How your donation will make a difference:

  • £50 could go help pay for one cold cap to help reduce hair loss
  • £100 could help pay for an annual training package from Paxman so all staff are fully trained
  • £500 could go towards maintaining both systems to ensure they are available for patients all year round
  • £1000 could go towards funding one dual patient scalp cooling system  

Paxman's clinically proven cold cap system has helped over 100,000 cancer patients in more than 25 countries to retain their hair during chemotherapy.

At the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre we have successfully used the scalp cooling systems, providing more than 10,000 sessions. We are now aiming to upgrade and enhance our existing units, and increase our provision by October 2021. 

How the caps work

Cold caps and scalp cooling systems are tightly fitting, strap-on, helmet-type hats filled with a gel coolant that’s chilled to between -15 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. These scalp cooling systems help reduce hair loss in patients by narrowing the blood vessels beneath the skin of the scalp, reducing the amount of chemotherapy medicine that reaches the hair follicles. With less chemotherapy medicine in the follicles, the hair may be less likely to fall out. The cold also decreases the activity of the hair follicles, which slows down cell division and makes the follicles less affected by the chemotherapy medicine.

The scalp cooling caps help patients by:

  • Reducing hair loss
  • Improving self-confidence
  • Helping maintain a more positive body image
  • Helping a person feel more like themselves
  • Helping someone as an individual, not a patient.
  • Offering choice to patients means better outcomes

Keeley's story

Keeley from Stotfold was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2018. Surgery was followed by 12 weeks of chemotherapy at the Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre. As part of her treatment she was offered the chance to use the scalp cooling machines. A 2017 research study showed that more than 50% of a group of breast cancer patients who received scalp cooling during their treatment kept most or all of their hair.

Keeley said: “I used scalp cooling whilst having chemotherapy. The pain as your scalp was cooled to minus 5 degrees for the first 15 minutes was excruciating, but once past the 15 minutes the cap is fine and enabled me to keep all of my hair – in actual fact it got thicker and darker! I would recommend scalp cooling to anyone that has to endure chemotherapy."

Thank you, Keeley, for sharing your story.

How you can support this appeal

  • Donate online
  • Call 01438 285182 to make a card payment.
  • Give money via text: to donate £5 text SCALP to 70085
    Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text SCALPNOINFO to 70085.
  • Post a cheque to East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity, Lister Hospital, Coreys Mill Lane, Stevenage, SG1 4AB

Thank you for helping us provide scalp cooling caps to patients having to undergo chemotherapy. They can help reduce the traumatic experience of hair loss for many people.