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Cooling cap helps reduce hair loss during chemo
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A local cancer team is among the first in the area to offer women a “cool” new therapy.
The team at Saint Elizabeth Healthcare in Fort Thomas has a special grant to provide women with breast cancer a therapy to reduce hair loss at no charge.
A simple click turns on the computer that is programed to cool off the “Dignicap”.
“So the Dignicap is an option for patients that are getting chemotherapy and want to prevent hair loss,” said Dr. Brooke Phillips, a medical oncologist.
It is sized to fit the patient’s head and put on in layers.
“So, I was diagnosed at the end of February with stage one breast cancer,” said Catrina Spicer, a patient.
Early diagnosis gave Spicer this option and it is now part of her chemotherapy treatment each week.
The concept behind the treatment is that by cooling the scalp that causes vaso-constriction, which decreases chemo profusion to the scalp and thus prevent hair loss.
“There's a 20-minute cool down and then they wear the cap while they are getting their chemo, and then after chemo, depending on the treatment they stay anywhere from 90 minutes up to 3 hours,” said Holly Laux, a nurse.
Once it’s on, Spicer admits it's not quite a statement of fashion, but it is a statement of choice.
“You know at some point they are going to make theselook more like those stylish caps now they have in London and all that,” said Spicer.
“When you are given this diagnosis, they lose that sense of control, so I think it's a great thing to offer to our patients,” said Amanda Simpson, a nurse manager at Fort Thomas Cancer Center.
“It does seem to be helping and I must say in the beginning I was very skeptical,” said Spicer. “I love sharing my story with friends and family who are concerned about that part, they typically ask me you still have your hair, why? And I’m able to share with them about the Dignicap, and that its worked for me.”