SOMERVILLE, NJ - Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s Steeplechase Cancer Center now provides Paxman Scalp Cooling treatment for cancer patients to help prevent hair loss caused by certain chemotherapy drugs.

The cost of the scalp cooling treatment is being supported by a lead gift from Dr. Kathleen Toomey, medical director of the Steeplechase Cancer Center, to Somerset Health Care Foundation, the hospital’s fundraising arm.

“Losing their hair can be very emotional for cancer patients,” Toomey said. “They don’t want to look sick. Being able to preserve their hair with this scalp cooling treatment gives them some sense of control over their disease. They feel better about themselves and have a more positive outlook throughout their recovery.”

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Chemotherapy drugs attack rapidly dividing cells in the body, including hair follicles. Patients may begin experiencing hair loss two weeks after beginning chemotherapy treatment.

Scalp cooling helps lower the temperature of the scalp, reducing blood flow around hair follicles to prevent hair loss. Patients get their own silicone cap with an insulated cover. Scalp cooling begins 30 minutes prior to chemotherapy infusion and continues during treatment and for up to 90 minutes after treatment.

The Paxman Scalp Cooling System was developed in England and has helped more than 100,000 cancer patients in more than 32 countries worldwide to retain their hair during chemotherapy.

The treatment has been FDA cleared for use with patients with all solid tumors, except head and neck cancers.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Toomey for her lead gift which will help to cover the cost of scalp cooling treatment for our patients, who would be unable to afford $2,200 for this treatment,” said Deirdre Blaus, assistant vice president, cancer services, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. “Being able to offer this option to patients is part of our holistic approach to cancr care, addressing patients’ psychosocial needs as well as their medical care.”

In addition to chemotherapy, the Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset houses radiation therapy services, breast imaging services, a lung cancer screening program, PET/CT imaging services, oncologists’ and surgeons’ offices, nutritional counseling, genetic counseling, patient navigator services, a patient resource library, the Sanofi US Wellness Boutique and complementary medicine services, such as yoga, t’ai chi, meditation and massage. In partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only NCI-

Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - the Steeplechase Cancer Center offers patients access to the latest treatments, including clinical trials.

The Sanofi US Breast Care Program is one of only a select few in New Jersey to achieve full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and has also been named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

The Steeplechase Cancer Center is nationally accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, demonstrating its commitment to meet the highest standards for comprehensive, high-quality, multidisciplinary patient-centered care.

To learn more about the Steeplechase Cancer Center, please visit www.rwjbh.org/somerset. To schedule an appointment with a cancer specialist, call 844-CANCERNJ.