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A generous donation made to The Bays Hospital has enabled Mornington Peninsula residents to access scalp cooling during their cancer treatment, in an attempt to reduce their hair loss.  This service was previously only available if they travelled to Brighton or further in to the city for their chemotherapy treatment.

Patients are offered the complimentary use of this new technology at The Bays as part of their chemotherapy treatment, to reduce chemotherapy-induced hair loss. Scalp cooling has been offered for patients at Melbourne hospitals including Cabrini Brighton since 2015 and more recently Epworth Richmond, which is where many Mornington Peninsula patients have previously opted to travel for their treatment, in order to access scalp cooling.

Breast Oncoplastic Surgeon Dr Joanna Morgan says the availability of scalp cooling for patients locally in Mornington will reduce the stress caused by having to travel for their chemotherapy treatment. “Prevention of hair loss during chemotherapy can bring significant psychological benefits.  Many women will feel less noticeable and this enables them continue as much a normal life as possible during treatment, without having to discuss their cancer diagnosis.  I am so pleased that women will now have the option to use scalp cooling at The Bays Hospital”, said Dr Morgan.

McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse, Jo Lovelock adds “for many people, the fear of losing their hair as a result of their chemotherapy treatment is very distressing. Their hair loss makes it difficult to keep a cancer diagnosis private”. Typically women would use wigs, head scarfs and hats to conceal their temporary hair loss.

Dr Joanne Lundy, Medical Oncologist explains that “the cap is fitted to the patient prior to their treatment and cools the scalp. The cap remains on for the duration of the treatment and for a short time afterwards. Cooling the scalp before, during and after each chemotherapy treatment, reduces blood flow and chemotherapy delivery to hair follicles which are rapidly dividing cells – and therefore very susceptible to damage by chemotherapy”.

According to recently published research, approximately 50 per cent of patients respond well to scalp cooling treatment for preventing hair loss. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/article-abstract/2603438

“Patients report that the caps are comfortable and with added comforts such as warm blankets, the scalp cooling is generally very tolerable and patients feel it is well worth the extra treatment time for the results of minimizing their hair loss” said Dr Lundy.

The Bays offers a comprehensive cancer care and support service for privately insured residents on the Mornington Peninsula. The new purpose-designed Day Infusion unit opened in 2016 and features state of the art treatment chairs and equipment in a modern space with large windows. Our service includes cancer diagnosis, surgery, treatment and a support network. Our aim is to give our community access to the best cancer care available locally.

If you would like more information about Cancer Services, Cancer Support Groups, Chemotherapy or Scalp Cooling at The Bays, please contact The Bays on 5976 5310 or email dayinfusion@thebays.com.au

Ends.

Photo: (left to right) Dr Joanne Lundy, Medical Oncologis; Jo Lovelock, McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse; and Dr Joanna Morgan, Breast Oncoplastic Surgeon.

Media contact: Tanja Moye, Communications & Events Coordinator on 5970 5309 or tanjamoye@thebays.com.au