Some Patients May Be Able To Prevent Hair Loss During Chemo… Thanks To This Ice-Cold Cap!

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A pilot program in Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut is using cold caps to reduce hair loss during chemo.

Susy Evans was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer and underwent lumpectomies, then a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. After some hesitation, she opted to try the cold cap during her chemo treatments. Besides some thinning after the first treatment, she got fabulous results! Evans says the hair loss she did experience wasn’t even noticeable.

These soft, gel-filled caps are kept at extremely low temperatures until they’re worn. Patients wear them before, during, and after chemo, and they are given a fresh cap every 30 minutes. While wearing the caps, the hair follicles in the scalp become so cold that they become temporarily dormant — and therefore become less affected by the chemo.

Since these caps are still in the early phases of testing, they are not FDA approved. They don’t work for everybody, and they don’t work for every type of chemotherapy, according to Dr. Richard Zelkowitz — but they have been effective for a common chemotherapy called TC, or Taxotere Cytoxan. So far, 14 of the 15 patients in this trial have kept at least 80% of their hair on their head.

Watch the video to learn more about the program!

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C. Kramer is back in the Mitten State after a brief residency in the Sunshine State. She has an adorable dog-child, and enjoys reading, writing, going to the theatre, and finding pins on Pinterest. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor.