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Location: Sydney, Australia
Cancer type: Breast
Drug type: Taxotere and Cyclophosphamide
Hair type: Long

"Hair loss was what bothered me the most out of scans, surgery and the whole treatment. Scalp cooling allowed me to continue looking well and people not being made aware of what I was going through."

I was made informed about scalp cooling during initial discussions with medical oncologist regarding commencing chemotherapy. I then gathered more information from the website and Facebook page.

I was a little nervous about using the cold cap but the potential benefits outweighed the thought of wearing the cap. I was able to tolerate it well taking only Paracetamol. I was put at ease as the nurse that put the cap on had completed the training and was thorough with instructions and application. I was nervous for the whole two weeks awaiting the shedding to start.

After the first treatment I lost a lot of hair but retained hair at the front, sides and underneath, it mainly shed from my crown. I retained enough to be able to pull it back and it not be noticeable (unless it was wet and not brushed). After the second, third and fourth treatments I had only minimal shedding.

The treatments after the first one were a little harder to tolerate – I thought this may be because I had less hair so the cap was closer to my scalp and felt colder. On one occasion it didn’t feel very tight so I kept pushing down on it. I took my own blanket from home for warmth. I made sure my hair was wet enough and had adequate conditioner for it to be removed with ease.

I luckily retained approx. 65-70% of my hair. I had thinning on my crown and some patching on the sides. I was lucky that I had only light sheds after second, third and fourth treatments.

My tips are to sleep with a bamboo pillowcase and don’t avoid brushing your hair even if you are worried about it falling out. Brush morning and night. I read to not wash your hair frequently – this was a concern for me as I swim daily. I continued to swim daily (no cap) and ensured I rinsed my hair afterwards. Using spray in conditioner on the days you don’t wash your hair helped. Also having a friend or family member present who can provide a good distraction or entertainment as well as assist during treatment also helped.

Scalp cooling made my treatment much more tolerable. It allowed me to continue with work and seeing others without people needing to be aware of what was happening.


"Having access to the scalp cooling system had such a positive impact how I coped with the treatment. It allowed me to continue to look well and not have the noticeable sign of having a cancer diagnosis. I am very appreciative of the donors who contributed funding to Prince of Wales Foundation and the Prince of Wales Hematology Oncology Day Centre which allowed purchase of the system and the caps. "


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