One of the many side-effects of cancer and its treatment is the hair loss. Especially for women, their hair is an important aspect of their personality and identity. Losing it is a visible part of a chemotherapy session, and it is a loud sign that they suffer from cancer. However, two new studies are pointing to a viable solution to avoid this side effect. This is about a new technology that uses cooling caps when women are going through a chemotherapy session for breast cancer.
The tech aspects of this innovative device work exactly like a refrigerator. A tube is used to circulate a cooling fluid in a helmet. Patients should wear this helmet before, during, and after their chemotherapy sessions. The reason why this device works is that the cooling effect can dramatically reduce the activity of the chemicals. Moreover, another effect of the new technology forces to blood vessels from the scalp to constrict.
The cooling caps may be a new addition to the cancer treatment in U.S. However, they have been widely used in other countries before. The reason why they couldn’t reach the American soil until now was the lack of studies of their efficiency. As there was no evidence of their healing power, the Food and Drug Administration didn’t approve such devices in the United States.
On the other hand, things are about to change. Two new studies were recently published, and their findings attest the benefits of the cooling caps. Both documents show the results obtained by two teams of scientists at San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and the other at Baylor College of Medicine. Each of them studied the effects of a different kind of cooling cap than the other.
One of the studies tested a device called DigniCap. There were 122 women who participated, and they were all breast cancer patients at stage one or two at five medical centers. They started wearing the helmet for a total of up to 150 minutes. The first 30 minutes were before and during the treatment and the rest of 120 minutes were after the chemotherapy ended. Scientists took pictures of their scalp before and during their research. After four weeks of such a procedure, 66% of participants were happy to observe that they lost only half of their hair.
The second study observed the evolution of 142 women at seven medical centers. Some of them received the treatment randomly with Orbis Paxman Hair Loss Prevention System while the others carried out their treatment for breast cancer without cooling caps. After four sessions, the women who received the hair loss prevention lost only half of their hair in comparison with the other passive participants. At the moment, one session with a cooling cap for hair loss costs from $1,000 to $2,000, and it is not covered by insurance.
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