The Medicash Foundation, the charitable arm of leading Liverpool-based health insurer Medicash, has stepped in to fund a pioneering anti-hair loss system for cancer patients at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

Hair loss is one of the most well-known side effects of cancer treatment. The Paxman Scalp Cooling System being funded by The Medicash Foundation, is proven to be an effective way of combating chemotherapy induced hair loss and can result in a high level of retention or completely preserve the hair. For patients, this means the opportunity to regain some control, maintain their privacy and encourage a positive attitude towards treatment.

The system works by reducing blood flow to the scalp by 20-40% of the normal rate, resulting in less chemotherapeutic drug being delivered to the hair follicles.

Maureen Ellison, trusts and major donor manager for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, said: “So often, our patients tell us that coping with hair loss is one of the hardest parts of having cancer. Such a sudden and visible physical change can be incredibly stressful. That is why it is so important that we secure funding for new treatment support equipment such as this.”

A current breast cancer patient at Clatterbridge, Sue said: “I was devastated at the thought of losing my hair because it is quite literally my crowning glory. I decided to give the cold cap a go and while my hair has thinned a little bit, you wouldn’t know I’d had chemotherapy. An added bonus is I have kept most of my eye lashes and eyebrows. I would say to anyone offered the cold cap that they should consider it. The first ten minutes are a little bit uncomfortable, there is a sharp intake of breath, but after that it is fine and worth persevering.”

Sue Weir, chief executive of Medicash, said: “The use of scalp cooling is most likely to increase, because of increasing cancer incidence, more frequent use of chemotherapy in treating solid tumours and improved understanding of scalp cooling in hospitals, but also among patients. We are delighted to have been able to fund this system which will benefit patients from across the North West for many years to come.”

Operational since 1996, The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity is the only charity that directly raises funds to benefit the 30,000 patients being treated for, or recovering from, cancer at the Centre.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is renowned for making breakthroughs in many areas of cancer research and bespoke treatments. They are currently embarking on a journey to transform cancer care by expanding their services into the heart of Liverpool city centre with the building of the new Clatterbridge Cancer Hospital.