Coping with Hair Loss

The Unit offers information and advice concerning hair loss caused by cancer treatments.

A wig appliance form is completed for every patient who will have potential hair loss. This form is sent in an envelope with the patients contact telephone number to the appliance department. The Appliance Department contacts the wig suppliers, who contact the patient to make an appointment. All patients should be fitted with their wig within 3 weeks.

We have a headwear area, providing samples of a range of head coverings that patients can purchase. A receipt is given to the patient on purchasing. The money is paid into a separate 'Headstart' Oncology fund, which enables purchasing of material and items of headwear. The Lead Chemotherapy Nurse and Chemotherapy Sister are authorised to withdraw funds from this account.

The Weston Oncology & Haematology Day Unit offers scalp cooling of to reduce hair loss in some types of cancer. It is not suitable for all types of chemotherapy treatments.

The Unit uses the Paxman Scalp Cooling System, and the Intermark system which consists of 12 caps and a freezer. The freezer temperature should be below –25.

Due to the number of caps, only a certain number of patients can receive scalp cooling each day. Also time needs to be allowed for this procedure in the treatment diary.

On consenting patients for chemotherapy treatment the clinician Oncologist will offer scalp cooling if appropriate and state this on the consent form.

Leaflets can be provided on:

  • Scalp cooling for patients receiving chemotherapy who experience hair loss.
  • Coping with hair loss caused by cancer treatments.

An audit form is completed for each patient receiving scalp cooling detailing the drug treatment and the effectiveness of the procedure using the WHO scale.