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Cooling Caps Can Prevent Hair Loss After Chemotherapy

Hair loss is a common side effect in patients undergoing chemotherapy. They use hats, scarves, or caps while on treatment as they wait for their hair to grow back.

A recent discovery shows that some cancer patients may be able to use a special cap during their chemotherapy and after. The cap will help them prevent hair loss or reduce the amount of hair they lose. The cooling caps have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by some patients in order to protect their hair cells from the effect of chemotherapy drugs.

Some chemotherapy drugs can damage healthy cells in the digestive system, hair follicles, and bone marrow while attacking the rapidly growing cancer cells. This causes patients to experience suppressed immune systems, digestive issues, and hair loss as side effects of treatment.

Patients experience different degrees of hair loss, even when using similar drugs or undergoing the same treatment regiments. Hair loss begins two weeks after commencing chemotherapy and may increase a month or two later.

Cooling caps protect hair cells from the damage caused by chemotherapy drugs. The low scalp temperature constricts cells and prevents the medications from penetrating. It also reduces cellular activity in hair follicles, preventing them from being targeted by chemotherapy drugs.

In one study, it was discovered that 66% of breast cancer patients who used cooling caps during their chemotherapy had 50% reduced hair loss than those who didn’t use them.

Some of the cooling caps are connected to cooling systems during a patient’s therapy. The other types are stored in a freezer at very low temperatures for a given time until they are ready to be worn.

Doctors are making efforts to treat patients and help them manage some of the side effects of cancer. By introducing cooling caps, many patients will be able to prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia, which causes great concern and anxiety during treatment.

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