Patients receiving chemotherapy treatment at the RUH are benefiting from a generous donation of scalp cooling caps that can help to reduce hair loss, thanks to the family of a former patient.
Cooling caps work by lowering the scalp temperature during and after chemotherapy.
Liquid coolant passes through the cap, extracting heat from the patient’s scalp and ensuring the scalp remains at an even cool temperature to minimise hair loss.
Rosalyn (Roz) Hancock, from Bath, sadly passed away from bowel cancer in November last year after two years of treatment at the RUH Chemotherapy Department, aged 64.
Her husband Nick said: “My donation is my way of saying thank you to the wonderful staff at the RUH on behalf of my dear wife.
“Roz was hugely appreciative of the tender care she received from all of the chemotherapy staff at the RUH over the course of her illness, and also of the wonderful staff themselves, who became her friends on the way.
“Scalp cooling to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy is an important resource which can help to retain a patient’s identity and dignity at a difficult time.
“Cancer robs you of so much, so to be able to offer a chance at preventing the indignity of losing your hair is so important.
“Roz spent a lifetime caring for both children and adults in various settings in Bath, and she would have loved this opportunity to help others undergoing chemotherapy.”
Mr Hancock has donated 18 new-design Paxman cooling caps which are now in use in the chemotherapy unit.
Chemotherapy Clinical Nurse specialist Karen Skelley said: “We’re really grateful to Mr Hancock – this donation will help us to further improve patients’ experience while they receive treatment.
“As a service we aim to minimize any distress for our patients, and provide scalp cooling as an option during their treatments. For some people, hair loss can be the hardest part of having treatment and can have a significant impact on a patient’s body image.
“Reducing hair loss can help patients retain some sense of normality and control, which can also affect their ability to cope with their treatment.”
Paxman’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Claire Paxman said: “As a family business we understand how traumatic alopecia as a result of chemotherapy can be.
“The Paxman Scalp Cooling System was developed by our chairman Glenn after he saw the enormous impact hair loss had on his late wife, Sue and their young family when she underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer.
“One of the Paxman children, James, married Roz and Nick’s daughter Gemma. The whole family rallied round to help Roz as much as possible, assisting Roz in her cap sizing and teaching both her and Nick how to fit the cap.
“It was an honour to be able to help Roz during her treatment, not only because she was family but also having had first-hand experience ourselves with our beautiful late Mum.
“It was important to all of us to be able to help Roz to avoid the same traumatic experiences. We are absolutely delighted that Nick chose to honour Roz by donating caps to RUH Chemotherapy Department.
“So many people will be able to benefit from this generous act, meaning that hair loss does not have to be an inevitable part of chemotherapy treatment for future patients.
“It’s a true legacy for both Roz and Sue.”