Free wigs give cancer patients their confidence back
HAIR loss can be one of the most distressing side effects of cancer treatment - which is why Cancer Council Queensland is reaching out to those affected.
Queensland cancer patients can borrow a wig or turban, free of charge, for the duration of their treatment through the charity's innovative ESA Wig and Turban Service.
In 2016 from January to October, 97 wigs were loaned and 138 turbans were given to Sunshine Coast locals experiencing hair loss, instilling hope and confidence at a difficult time.
Among those locals who have used the service is Noosaville resident Analyn Carroll.
Ms Carroll was diagnosed with breast cancer in February and is still undergoing treatment.
While the journey hasn't been easy, Ms Carroll said the help she found through Cancer Council Queensland and the ESA Wig and Turban Service has given her extra confidence.
"After I was diagnosed, my friend who had cervical cancer told me about the side effects and that I would lose my hair in the coming months," Ms Carroll said.
"The first four months of chemotherapy really knocked me down, but when you have good support from family and friends it really helps you stay positive.
"I booked in for an appointment at Cancer Council's Sunshine Coast office and the staff were so nice and helpful - I was shown how to look after the wig properly."
Ms Carroll currently wears a shoulder-length brunette wig.
"When I'm in the house I don't wear it, but I wear it to work and most of my colleagues can't tell how sick I am," she said.
"It looks really good and gives me more confidence.
"My hair is just slowly starting to grow now, so I will be wearing it for a while."
After undergoing surgery in October, Ms Carroll will soon be undergoing radiation treatment for five days a week.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift encouraged locals affected by hair loss to reach out for vital support.
"Each of Cancer Council's offices and accommodation lodges, including Brisbane, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Gold Coast, Bundaberg and the Sunshine Coast, are equipped with a wig and turban loan library," Ms Clift said.
"Our ESA Wig and Turban Service offers a warm and friendly environment where individuals can come for an appointment with a trained staff or volunteer to have a wig fitted, enjoy a chat, and walk away with a wig or turban that is perfect for them.
"We have a wide range of wigs in various colours and lengths to suit any complexion, or if clients would prefer a turban, we offer these in a variety of styles, colours and patterns."
For more information or to book an appointment with the ESA Wig and Turban Service, please call Cancer Council's 13 11 20 or visit www.cancerqld.org.au.