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Patient Journeys

The Paxman Scalp Cooling System is used all over the world to help prevent hair loss for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. We are always keen to hear the stories of the people we meet and speak to every day, offering our support and listening to the ways we can continually improve.

There have been many successful outcomes for people using the Paxman system – see what patients and healthcare professionals have to say about their experience of scalp cooling below.

Kathryn Mac Isaac, Canada

Here goes nothing! I was diagnosed on May 26th 2015 with Stage 2B breast cancer. I had a golf-sized tumor in my right breast and one of my lymph nodes showed cancer cells in it.

I was told that I would undergo a double mastectomy (because I am a BRCA2 gene carrier) and that I could freeze my eggs because, at the time, I was only 30 and I am yet to have had children. They explained I would have to have six rounds of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiation.

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Nadia Brown

Hello. I am a 26-year-old female and had my cancer diagnosis last year. I have recently finished 6 months of chemo for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and am now in complete remission. At the start of my treatment I was offered the cold cap. I was told it was very painful and that most people don’t stick it out.

When I was offered it I was at my lowest - I haven’t wanted sympathy and I’ve been nothing but positive all through, but this was my low. I’d just had my biopsy, the symptoms of the lymphoma were taking it out of me...

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Helen

My name is Helen and I’ve just turned 55. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the beginning of September 2015 and started chemotherapy a month after my surgery in October. Everything moved so fast, I could hardly take it in.

The diagnosis was a complete ‘bolt from the blue’. I had been working hard in a stressful management job and trying to balance that out by walking a lot. I was feeling fine until the middle of July when I suffered what I thought was a case of mild food poisoning. Having been to a Japanese restaurant to celebrate a...

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Christine

After the first cold cap session, I was undecided as to whether or not I would continue. The cap was a little uncomfortable and very cold. I persevered and the following week wrapped up very warm with lots of layers, drinking tea through a straw so that the chin-strap could fit tightly and cover my whole scalp. This really helped and I gradually got used to the tight feeling under my chin. As the weeks went on, it got so much easier and didn’t bother me at all in the end. The cap became my chemo buddy!

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Hi Team

After reading the article in Examiner on Wednesday 27 January 2016, I thought it was time to add my thanks to your “chilly” system. I used the cold cap from June to September/October 2009.

Whatever a woman’s hair type, be it thin/thick, straight/curly, it is your crowning glory. My hair type happens to be very thick and strong, thus in my opinion aided the keeping of some of my hair during treatment. I also believe it depends upon the “potions” which are given to each individual patient, as to whether the cold cap works completely or not.

Some of...

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Alison

Having been diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2015, my world had suddenly and abruptly collapsed. Cancer was not welcome, it hadn’t been invited and I was going to make sure it was kicked in the butt and evicted ASAP!

My gruelling schedule for the following months was decided on. I was to have a mastectomy with an immediate breast reconstruction, followed by several rounds of chemotherapy. I thought to myself, “Cancer you picked on the wrong girl, you’ve got a fight on your hands.”

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Shawna, USA

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Every cloud has a silver lining…” However I found an abundance of silver!! After 30 years of teaching, I retired. I walked out of my classroom for the last time on Friday June 6th of 2014. The following week I went for my annual mammogram and the next day I was informed I had breast cancer. This wasn’t what I had in mind when I retired.

Once turned on, I could feel the cold on my scalp. It graced me with comfort as it reminded me of the days I was on the swim team...

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Mandee Castle

I was diagnosed on 19th November 2012 at the age of 45. After noticing a dip in my breast I assumed it was probably due to my age or breastfeeding my son, so I wasn’t too concerned. After mentioning it to my doctor and him examining me, he thought it was a good idea to go for a mammogram.

I found out I had breast cancer, lobular carcinoma. They eventually found five very small tumours. The largest was 13mm and the smallest only 5mm. On December 19th 2012 I had a mastectomy and on 19th February 2013 I started FEC75 chemotherapy...

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Ruth

Ruth’s Story (in the voice of her husband).

My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of this year and this forum has really been a Godsend, so we wanted to give something back by sharing our experience with the Paxman cold cap clinical trial. Overall, Ruth did lose about 60% of her hair, but it has definitely slowed down in recent days. She was able to “fake it” for a long time, creatively styling her hair to cover any thinning areas, but most importantly, she has never had to wear a wig throughout all of this.

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Sharon Bolton

​In July 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was confirmed as invasive ductal breast plus DCIS at grade II with the tumour being 46mm in size. I was 44 years old and very scared.

I won’t ever forget having to tell my children (aged 21 and 17), family and friends this awful news. It felt very surreal, but it also felt great to tell them it was treatable and I couldn’t wait for the treatment to begin. There was so much to take on board but it all sounded positive and that’s how I remained throughout the whole cancer...

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Rachel Clark

After the whirlwind of diagnosis, we got down to the nitty-gritty of the side effects of my chemotherapy regime of 4 x Docetaxel and 4 x EC. The advice on the hair front was categorical, “You will lose all of it”. I was duly dispatched to ‘patient appliances’ to select the new me. I was also told however, that I might wish to try scalp cooling with the observation, “It works for some and not for others”.

So, having ignored the patient sat in the day unit reception intent on scaring me off it, I donned my cap for the...

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Sally Maryon

​In January 2015 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This is still difficult to type and in fact it’s like I’m talking about someone else. Telling my daughters (aged 21 and 16) was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. In my explanation, I told them I had been offered treatment to recover and we would take it one step at a time. That was the start of my positive road that I intended to go down.

At my first appointment with my oncologist, she told me about Paxman cold caps and how they can prevent hair...

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Debbie Wolfe

When I discovered I had breast cancer in June of last year, my biggest fear was that I would lose my hair. I know that sounds vain but it was the one thing that makes your illness so apparent to everyone and I wanted my life, and that of my husband and children, to go on as normal.

We researched cold capping on the internet and found the Paxman Scalp Cooling System. I contacted yourselves and found you to be extremely helpful and understanding. On my first chemo session, Paxman came to the Bristol Oncology Centre to explain the simple procedure...

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Cheryl Venturini, Canada, Trail B.C.

My experience with the Paxman Scalp Cooling System. I was diagnosed in June of 2014 with recurrent breast cancer. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and four rounds of chemotherapy. I was able to keep most of my hair except for some thinning at the top, thanks to using the cold cap. Not losing my hair made going through chemo easier and more positive. Nine years ago, I went through 4 rounds of chemotherapy for breast cancer and before my second treatment I had lost all my hair and ended up wearing a wig. I’m so happy this didn’t happen this...

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Hair cooling was not a complete success for me, but the fact that it was available was hugely important psychologically. Chemotherapy is gruelling, and the psycho-social effects of hair loss can be devastating, so the fact that there was hope of a solution made a massive difference. I held onto my hair almost to the end, and was only completely bald for about 6 weeks, as opposed to 6 months. I’m grateful to Paxman for being committed to the cause of hair retention for cancer patients.

Anonymous
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Based on existing documentation and my own, as well as experience from a number of renowned cancer centres, I consider the Paxman Scalp Cooling System a safe, effective and convenient way to prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia, in the curative, as well as in the palliative setting.

Ole Kristian D Anderson, MD Oncology Consultant, SiVOnkologi, Tonsberg Norway
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