Hair in­tact thanks to chemo cap trial

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Kaylee Martin

CARLISLE res­i­dent Belinda Evans was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer late last year, but thanks to her par­tic­i­pa­tion in a re­search trial she says she never felt like a real can­cer pa­tient.

Ms Evans, a foren­sic sci­en­tist with Curtin Univer­sity, was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer in Oc­to­ber.

Af­ter mam­mo­grams, biop­sies and ul­tra­sounds, doc­tors con­firmed she was liv­ing with oe­stro­gen re­cep­tive breast can­cer.

“When I was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer I didn’t cry,” Ms Evans said.

“Al­though it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, it wasn’t un­til the MRI re­sults that con­firmed I would need a mas­tec­tomy that I got emo­tional.”

In Novem­ber, med­i­cal on­col­o­gist and vice-chair of Breast Can­cer Re­search Cen­tre (BCRC) Ar­lene Chan rec­om­mended Ms Evans un­dergo chemo­ther­apy.

“Prof. Chan wanted me to start chemo­ther­apy be­fore Christ­mas but I didn’t want to go bald be­fore then, so I or­gan­ised to com­mence treat­ment in Jan­uary,” Ms Evans said.

“Be­fore I saw Pro­fes­sor Chan in Jan­uary, a friend of mine had tagged me on Face­book about the Dig­niCap.

“It looked in­ter­est­ing but at the time I mis­tak­enly thought it was only avail­able in the US, so I didn’t give it too much more thought.”

Dig­niCap is a de­vice that cools the scalp dur­ing chemo­ther­apy, re­duces blood flow and slows down nor­mal hair fol­li­cle cell ac­tiv­ity.

Mean­while, Ms Evans took con­trol of her own hair loss and hosted a shav­ing party with her friends ahead of her treat­ment.

De­spite hav­ing shaved her head, Pro­fes­sor Chan said there could still be a pos­si­bil­ity Ms Evans could re­tain some of her hair if she par­tic­i­pated in the BCRC WA Chemo­ther­apy In­duced Alope­cia (CIA) trial which used the Dig­niCap.

“I had come to terms with d455475 the like­li­hood of los­ing my hair to chemo, so when Pro­fes­sor Chan ex­plained I could en­ter the trial and po­ten­tially not lose my hair I was re­ally ex­cited,” Ms Evans said.

“The CIA re­searchers were also keen to in­ves­ti­gate whether the Dig­niCap would work for me given I had just shaved my head.”

Ms Evans said she did not ex­pe­ri­ence any hair loss for the first three weeks of chemo­ther­apy. Af­ter four weeks her hair was eight mil­lime­tres long and af­ter nine weeks it was 27mm long.

The treat­ment fin­ished in March and Ms Evans said she found she had min­i­mal hair loss over­all.

“My hair is now quite thick and straight with a bit of a wave,” Ms Evans said.

Pic­ture: Robin Kor­net

Belinda Evans.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.