Hair donors give hope to breast cancer patients

By Long Nguyen   October 30, 2019 | 03:46 am PT
More than 300 people donated their hair on the Pink Hat Day 2019 (October 27) organized by the Breast Cancer Network Vietnam (BCNV).

With the slogan, "Hair Given, Hope Stays", the organizers expected to have 1,000 donors, allowing100 hair set to given to the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion.

Hair not strongly affected by dyes will be processed and given to BCNV’s wig library and other breast cancer patients in Vietnam, said Nguyen Thuy Tien, CEO of BCNV.

Tran Van Thuan from the southern province of Dong Nai, who donated his hair after growing it for three years said: "I do not regret it. I will keep growing my hair to give to people. My hair can grow again, but the future growth of some cancer patients are threatened." 

A hair donator at the event. Photo by VnExpress/Cam Anh.

A hair donor at the event. Photo by VnExpress/Cam Anh.

BCNV built the wig library in 2013 and gifted the wigs to its members on a first-come, first-serve basis. But the synthetic hair was too hot to wear and could not be passed on to another person. It switched to real hair wigs in 2015 and began scouting for real hair sources.

The organization has received around 1,000 hair sets. It expects to get 4,000 hair sets for cancer patients nationwide, including breast cancer patients.

BCNV is a member of the Union for International Cancer Control, which works to increase early detection of breast cancer and to improve the quality of life for women diagnosed with the disease.

The Pink Hat Day is an annual event organized by BCNV, featuring a series of community activities, including outdoor yoga, hair donation and hair-styling for fundraising, zumba dance party and breast cancer exhibition, free examination and counseling about breast cancer. This year's event attracted more than 1,500 people.

According to Viet Nam's National Cancer Hospital in Hanoi, the ratio of breast cancer patients among women in Vietnam has increased from 24.4/100,000 in 2013 to 26.2/100,000 in 2018.

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