ST John of God Murdoch Hospital has purchased a scalp cooling system to preserve the hair of patients undergoing certain kinds of chemotherapy.
Oncologist Daphne Tsoi said individuals had different reactions to losing their hair through chemotherapy.
“Some of our patients don’t mind too much and some find it very traumatic,” she said.
“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 hair cells. By wearing the scalp cooling system, named DigniCap, for a set period before, during and after treatment, the cells are protected which helps prevent hair loss.
Patient Gail Chambers said 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,” she said.
“My hair thinned slightly but that was it, so I was really delighted to have had the opportunity to use the machine.”
The DigniCap technology was funded through the St John of God Foundation by the Somas family and Audio Hub Subiaco.