Julia Price —
A Toronto lady, who kept her hair during chemotherapy after using a pioneering UK scalp cooling treatment, is sharing her story in a bid to help others.
Kathryn Mac Isaac was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 after discovering a “golf-sized tumour” in her right breast. As part of her treatment, she had to undergo a double mastectomy and was faced with the prospect of also losing her hair, a possible side effect of chemotherapy.
Kathryn was determined not to let this happen, so during her six rounds of chemotherapy she wore the Paxman Scalp Cooler. The system works by lowering the scalp’s temperature before, during and after the administration of chemotherapy.
Delighted with the results, Kathryn is now sharing her story around the world to help raise awareness of scalp cooling. She is one of the first people in Canada to use the innovative scalp cooler, which is designed and manufactured by British-based, Paxman.
Kathryn said: “The thought of losing my hair was absolutely devastating. For those who know me well, they know that I would rather lose both breasts and a foot before I lose my hair! Vain maybe, but my hair has always been my ‘thing’.”
Hair loss is a well-known side effect of many chemotherapy regimens, with many patients reporting that it is the most traumatic aspect of their treatment. Scalp cooling provides the only real alternative to hair loss, resulting in a high level of retention or complete hair preservation, therefore improving patients’ self-confidence and creating positive attitudes towards treatment.
Kathryn said: “The chemotherapy cocktail for my cancer would, without a doubt, make me lose my hair. My oncologist was very clear about this, so I tried to come to terms with this information. About two weeks before my first chemotherapy treatment, I was researching about hair loss and getting prepared when I came across Cold Comfort Canada online. After sending the link to my mom and best friend, they both called immediately to find out more about scalp cooling and the cold cap.”
Kathryn did lose some of her hair but she still had a full head and never had to wear a wig or hat. She said only the people she had chosen to tell even knew that she was going through chemotherapy.
Kathryn added: “I would highly recommend scalp cooling for anyone dealing with cancer and chemotherapy. The cold cap saved my self-esteem. My advice to anyone using the cold cap would be to make sure you have a good cap fit and that it covers all of your hair.”
She continued, “We need to spread awareness about scalp cooling. It completely changes the way chemotherapy affects individuals and their confidence. Thank you Cold Comfort Canada, Linda Minuk and Paxman for everything!”
The Paxman Scalp Cooling System is the world-leading hair loss prevention system for chemotherapy patients. It has been used by over 100,000 patients in 32 countries and is responsible for helping patients to reduce chemotherapy-induced alopecia and retain normality whilst undergoing their treatment.
Made from lightweight, silicone tubing, the scalp cooling cap is soft and flexible—providing a snug yet comfortable fit during treatment. Moulding to all head shapes and sizes, liquid coolant passes through the cap extracting heat from the patient’s scalp, ensuring the scalp remains at an even, constant temperature to minimize hair loss.
Richard Paxman, CEO of Paxman, said: “We are delighted that scalp cooling was successful for Kathryn and that it had such a positive impact on her life. Kathryn is our first Canadian Paxman Pioneer. First-hand accounts like Kathryn’s provide real life advice and support to anyone considering or currently experiencing scalp cooling.”
Linda Minuk, President, from Cold Comfort Canada Ltd, added: “I am so happy that Kathryn had the opportunity to use the technology and that she had great results, allowing her to have as normal a life as she could during chemo.”
Paxman is on the lookout for more Paxman Pioneers to share their stories. If you or someone you know has experienced the Paxman Scalp Cooling System and would like to be a Paxman Pioneer, please contact Paxman at: email@example.com.
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More information about Paxman
Paxman is the leading global expert in scalp cooling, for the prevention of hair loss during chemotherapy. The Paxman family developed the system after Sue Paxman was diagnosed with breast cancer. During this time, her husband, Glenn was determined to find a way to help her and others retain their hair and dignity whilst undergoing chemotherapy. Through the family business, he and his brother, Neil developed the first scalp cooler. Sadly, Sue passed away in 2000 but her legacy lives on today through the Paxman Scalp Cooling System. Used globally, the Paxman Scalp Cooling System is available in two models. The Orbis I model provides cooling for a single patient and is suitable for a small chemotherapy suite or private bed, whilst the Orbis II provides cooling for one or two patients simultaneously with each cap working independently.
Backed by leading oncologists from around the world, the system has received the Millennium Product Award for Innovation and has achieved global success in many hospitals and specialist cancer treatment centres.