Cancer patients undergoing treatment at the Primrose Unit – Burnley General Teaching Hospital’s chemotherapy unit – now have the option of state-of-the-art “Cold Cap” therapy following the arrival of two new, top of the range Paxman Cooling Systems bought by Rosemere. The machines work to help prevent hair loss, which can be a side-effect of some chemotherapy medicines. Together with a pack of eight new caps for a similar machine already in the chemotherapy unit at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, they cost £28,579.
Of this money, half was donated to Rosemere by Simonstone-based engineering company Fort Vale through its charitable Fort Vale Foundation. Rosemere also organised a fundraising Santa Stroll in Thompson Park, Burnley, last November, while long term Padiham supporters, Vicky Stott and Julie Scott, organised a music night at Padiham Cricket Club. In addition, a local branch of stock car racing organisation BriSCA donated a £1,000 for the project. Other money came from ELHT&Me, the official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. Among donations made through ELHT&Me were those from the Trust’s Education Department, chemotherapy ward staff and the Burnley Hospital League of Voluntary Workers.
Sister Angela Holden, who manages the brand new Primrose Unit, which Rosemere contributed towards, said: “We know first-hand how important ‘Cold Cap’ therapy is to some patients. Keeping their hair can help them feel more like their normal self. We’re very grateful to everyone who has contributed to the appeal.”
Patients who want to help reduce the risk of hair loss as a side-effect of chemotherapy can opt to put on a “Cold Cap” before they have their chemotherapy medicine. They keep it on while having their medicine and for a period immediately afterwards. The cap is attached to the cooling machine, which chills the blood vessels feeding the hair follicles. The temperature drop this creates causes the blood vessels to narrow, which in turn limits the amount of chemotherapy medicine traveling through them to spare hair loss.