Infirmary Cancer Care first in region to help patients retain their hair during chemo

(image: Paxman) Infirmary Cancer Care first in region to help patients retain their hair during chemo

Losing your hair during chemotherapy is a struggle for nearly every cancer patient. Now there's a new procedure available in our area which can help patients keep their hair.

The treatment is being offered for the first time in Mobile and it will soon be offered on the Eastern Shore as well.

There's no doubt we all know someone or we may be someone who is going through cancer treatment. Vicky Tuberville-Vega is a proud survivor who charged through 25 rounds of radiation and six rounds of chemotherapy.

"By the second treatment the hair started falling out and that’s kind of scary. You do your hair like this and you have a handful of hair in your hand and the next thing you know is you don’t have any, " said Turberville -Vega.

The folks at Infirmary Cancer Care are the first to offer a new procedure known as the Paxman Scalp Cooling System which helps patients keep their hair during chemotherapy treatments.

"This is one of the things that will have a great impact on our ability to give chemotherapy," said Dr. Gerhard Boehm at Infirmary Cancer Care.

The science behind the cold cap alleviates the damage caused to the hair follicles by chemotherapy. It works by reducing the temperature of the scalp.

The fact is that chemotherapy saves lives and some patients actually opt out of chemo because they don’t want to lose their hair.

"So this is something that should help us overcome that hurdle, so it’s a great way overcome that fear of losing your hair and your identity," said Dr. Boehm.

For a cancer patient it has nothing to do with vanity.

"You want to be treated normal. You want to go to work like normal, and you want your life to be as normal as you can because you are going through so much, so for me if I had had an option for something like this for me to stay as normal as I could, I would have done it, in a heartbeat," said Turberville-Vega.

The scalp-cooling system may be covered by some insurance companies also, patients may qualify for financial assistance.