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Gloucestershire Business News

£150,000 fund-raising target to enhance cancer care at Gloucestershire hospitals

An appeal has been launched with the aim of raising £150,000 to fund a specialist suite at the Gloucestershire Oncology Centre.

The Focus Chemotherapy Suite Appeal will look to raise funds to help patients undergoing scalp cooling treatments during chemotherapy in order to help prevent hair loss.

Scalp cooling involves patients wearing a cold cap throughout chemotherapy to limit blood flow to the head, a method can then prevent certain cancer drugs from reaching the hair.

Jennie Williams, 39, from Gloucester, decided to try scalp cooling treatment after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February last year.

The mum-of-two said: "I am never going to forget that moment when they told me I had breast cancer, I was absolutely devastated.

"After the initial diagnosis, one of the first things I said was 'I don't want to lose my hair'.

"I had scalp cooling during every one of my chemotherapy sessions. Keeping my hair has meant everything to me.

"I did it for my children, so I still looked like Mummy to them. To them, life has carried on as normal.

"Having a dedicated new area for scalp cooling will hopefully encourage more people to give it a go."

Ali Williams, Focus Support Centre Manager, said the new suite will help them cope with the increased demand for the treatment.

She said "One of the biggest barriers for someone starting cancer treatment is the fear of losing their hair.

"Giving patients an option to try something which might combat hair loss can be hugely empowering as it allows them to maintain their sense of identity.

"Scalp cooling has become really popular with both men and women and, as a result, we've launched a new appeal to help fund a dedicated suite for people having the treatment.

"It will allow people who are having scalp cooling to have their own space where they can be looked after and given the extra care and support they need."

The former Pamington Suite at Cheltenham General Hospital will be transformed into the new area where patients can have their caps fitted and receive treatment away from the main chemotherapy unit.

Dr Sean Elyan, Consultant Oncologist at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Patients and their carers deserve facilities that match the excellence of our dedicated staff.

"The money donated to help us develop the Pamington Suite will be the first of many steps to on the road to achieving this aspiration.

"We aim for three things in Cancer Care - world class treatment, wonderful staff and great facilities. We have the first two and with your help we will deliver the third."

For more information about the fund and how to donate, visit www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/charity 

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