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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 July, 2004, 05:23 GMT 06:23 UK
Cap helps reduce chemo hair loss
Norfolk and Norwich Hospital
The cap has helps reduce hair loss caused by chemotherapy
A new gel-filled cap has helped to reduce hair loss caused by chemotherapy in 80% of patients, a hospital said.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said the Chemocap was designed to cool the patient's scalp to prevent damage caused by chemotherapy drugs.

The cap is cooled and worn 15 minutes before treatment, during the process and for up to one hour after.

Up to 48 caps are available at the hospital for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

One of the first patients to benefit from the cap is Jane Billings, a 46-year-old mother of two from Newton Flotman, Norfolk, who underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer in June.

Satisfied customer

She said that three weeks into her treatment she had managed to keep most of her hair.

"As soon as I was offered chemotherapy I was concerned about losing my hair. Then the breast nurse suggested I try the Chemocap and I was happy to give it a go," she said.

"It's a little uncomfortable because it feels very cold, particularly round the ears, but that's a small price to pay for keeping my hair."

Consultant oncologist, Daniel Epurescu, said: "We're delighted to be able to offer the Chemocap to our patients as the psychological impact of losing your hair from cancer treatment can be very distressing."

But Dr Epurescu said the cap is not suitable for all patients.

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