Cooling Cap Can Help Breast Cancer Patients Avoid Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

Posted: Dec 11 2016, 9:15am CST | by , Updated: Dec 11 2016, 9:19am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Cooling Cap can Help Breast Cancer Patients Avoid Hair Loss during Chemotherapy
Credit: Billy Calzada /San Antonio Express-News
 

Scalp cooling system can prevent hair loss in women undergoing chemotherapy

Hair loss is one of the biggest concerns for breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. This devastating event is much more than just a change in physical appurtenance as it can deeply affect a woman’s self image as well as her confidence. But a scalp cooling device can help patients preserve their hair during the extensive treatment.  

“When you lose your hair, everyone knows you're sick and looks at you differently.” Study author Dr. Julie Rani Nangia said.

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells and stops or slows down its progression. But the treatment also brings severe side effects with it such as damaging normal cells that help grow hair. 

Scalp-cooling device or Orbis Paxman Hair Loss Prevention System lowers the temperature of the scalp and keeps the cell-killing chemo away from hair follicles, preventing hair loss.

In the clinical trial, women with early breast cancer were randomly assigned to either chemotherapy with scalp-cooling or without scalp cooling device. A total of 98 patients wore caps for at least 30 minutes before and 90 minutes after chemotherapy sessions. Among those 49 retained their hair after the four rounds of chemotherapy while woman who did not use the cap suffered hair loss.

The cooling cap had mild side effects, including headache, nausea and dizziness but most of the participants rated it as effective and reasonably comfortable.

“Scalp cooling devices are highly effective and should become available to women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy.” Dr. Nangia said.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first cooling system to reduce hair loss in female breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. If the new cooling cap is also approved, it will provide patients more options.

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in American women. In US, an estimated 247,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. The scalp-cooling system can help breast cancer survivors save their hair and prevent them from physical and emotional distress.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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