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Mesothelioma Patients May Benefit From Newly Approved Paxman Cooling Cap

Like so many other patients who have been diagnosed with solid tumors, one of the side effects of treatment that people who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma dread most is the loss of their hair following chemotherapy treatment. Though they may have more pressing and existential issues to address, losing their hair removes their sense of normalcy, and announces to the world that they are ill. But now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced its approval of the Paxman Scalp Cooling System, a medical device that dramatically reduces the likelihood of chemotherapy-related hair loss for patients with solid tumors, so many cancer patients in the United States will be able to eliminate one of the more emotional impacts of their disease.

The Paxman Scalp Cooling System was created in the United Kingdom for use in patients with solid tumors such as breast and ovarian cancer, colorectal and prostate cancer, and mesothelioma. It is shaped much like a hat and placed on patient’s heads, where it uses cold temperatures to constrict the blood vessels. This process essentially blocks chemotherapeutic drugs from reaching hair follicles where they have historically killed healthy cells, leading to hair loss. Speaking of its impact, Debu Tripathy, M.D. and professor of Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston said, “This is another step forward in making cancer therapy more personalized and putting the patients in the driver’s seat as we create more options and pathways as patients.”

Improving the quality of life for patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma is an important goal, and the Paxman Scalp Cooling System represents a small step that is likely to make a big impact. “If you can take away the most feared side effect of chemotherapy, you’re changing a patient’s journey,” said Nancy Marshall, founder of the Rapunzel Project, an organization that worked to spread awareness of the benefits of cooling caps. “If you can go through your illness with a relative amount of looking normal, you maintain privacy,” she said. “If you have your privacy, you can choose who you want in the circle of people who know and people who support you.”There are currently over 200 of the systems in place in hospitals in the United States, and dozens more are on order for delivery in the near future.

People with mesothelioma deserve the comfort and support of those around them, and hospitals and other advocacy groups are working to provide that. If you need information about the resources available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at  1-800-692-8608.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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