MedWatch- Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center opens new wig room for patients

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- For cancer patients, the thought of losing your hair is one thing, but when it actually happens, it can be devastating. But now, thanks to the new wig room at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center, patients can gain back some of their confidence.

The American Cancer Society provides free wigs, turbans, and scarves to cancer patients who are going through cancer treatment.

"Hair is very important to a lot of women. And so why not give that resource back to them." Regan Nabors with the American Cancer Society says the free wigs are made possible by the generous donations through their fundraising events. "Wigs are very expensive. So if that's one thing that we can do to make them feel a little better while they're going through their treatment, we certainly want to do that."

In the past, patients could get a wig by going straight to the ACS's office, but that service has now been moved to the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center here in Lawton, which Nabors says saves patients time.

"They can go straight from their chemo appointments, maybe their doctor's appointments and go straight to the wig room and get fitted."

While there is staff working at the Cancer Center 24/7, Nabors says they are busy assisting patients and doing other things in the hospital. Which is why they are looking for volunteers to run the wig room. They were kind enough to show me how they fit a patient with a wig, and while it may look easy, it does take practice they said. Nabors says they train the volunteers on how to do it.

"Fitting someone with a wig isn't that difficult, but it is a process. So, we want people to feel comfortable giving even if it's two hours a month of their time or an hour. The wig room is open Tuesday's and Thursday's for a few hours."

Each patient with a cancer diagnosis is eligible for 1 free wig while they undergo treatment. Nabors says the wig room is giving so many patients more confidence in their fight against cancer.

"I have seen women literally go in 'I don't want a wig, I don't need this wig, it's not going to help me' and they leave there and they're like, 'I've always wanted to be a brunette and now I am.' Every person's cancer journey is different but if a wig can help their cancer journey be a little bit more positive, that's what we want."

To schedule a wig fitting, you can call the cancer center at 580-536-2121 and ask for the patient navigator. For any other American Cancer society services or to become a volunteer, you can call 1-800-227-2345.

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