Tue, Dec 3rd, 2013

Young mother with hair loss after battling leukaemia twice is denied £2,000 hair replacement therapy on the NHS


  • Samantha Green, 29, was first diagnosed with the disease in 2005
  • She relapsed in 2010 and was developed alopecia after being treated with super-strength steroids, which caused her to have thin and patchy hair
  • Says a hair replacement treatment called Intralace would restore confidence
  • But local body that advises on NHS spending says her case ‘not exceptional’
  • Said treatment would change her life – ‘you never get used to wearing a wig’

A young mother who has battled leukaemia twice has been denied ‘life-changing’ hair replacement therapy on the NHS.

Samantha Green was left with alopecia after being treated with super-strength steroids when the disease returned in 2010.

But the 29-year-old has three times been refused a £2,000 treatment to improve the appearance of her thin and patchy hair – despite the backing of her consultant at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The Central Midlands Commissioning Support Unit, which advises on NHS spending, decided her case was not exceptional.

Administration worker Samantha, who was training to be a nurse until she was taken ill, said the verdict had crushed her remaining confidence.

‘Hair makes a woman feel feminine,’ she said. ‘A lady who had a double mastectomy would not be refused a breast reconstruction. Yet someone who suffered alopecia due to intense chemotherapy is classed differently.

‘The therapy would change my life. You never get used to wearing a wig.’

The hair replacement therapy, called the Intralace system, lasts two years. It works by fitting a mesh over any area with little or no hair, pulling the existing hair through the mesh and plaiting tiny wefts of fine real hair to it.

Unlike normal hair extensions, it doesn’tplace stress on the remaining strands.

Ms Greene, who has an eight-year-old daughter called Madison, had thick dark hair before she first fell ill in August 2005.

She underwent two rounds of chemotherapy and had a bone marrow transplant which involved total body radiation treatment. After this, her hair grew back fine.

She relapsed in 2010 when she had another two bouts of chemotherapy and another bone marrow transplant.

This time she was treated with Busulfan which she thinks caused the alopecia, but it was the only treatment available to her at the time.

Despite the agony of her hair loss, Ms Greene has been told she will not benefit from the treatment any more than other patients who also qualified.

But she said she was struggling to cope with her alopecia on a daily basis and now hoped to set up a fundraising page to help other women in the same situation.

read more: www.dailymail.co.uk

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