BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Researchers discovered a way in which women who suffer from breast cancer might prevent losing their hair in chemotherapy. The miraculous method is a cooling device for the scalp. Unfortunately, it lacks FDA approval.
The device, called DigniCap, might reduce hair loss since cooling would cause the constriction of the blood vessels in the scalp and the activity of the chemicals from chemotherapy would be reduced. These cooling caps came as an innovation in the United States, but they are already established in other countries.
As mentioned before, one reason why these caps are not popular is the fact that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) thinks that they are ineffective and might not be safe for cancer patients. Thus, they have not given their approval.
The researchers tested the cap on 122 women that were receiving treatment for breast cancer in stages one and two, in five medical centers. The women were asked to wear the cooling caps 30 minutes before receiving the treatment and between 90 and 120 minutes after receiving the treatment. During treatment, the temperature of the scalp was kept at three degrees Celsius.
During treatment, the researchers took pictures of the scalp and hair of the women involved in the experiment. They were asked to determine by themselves if they saw any improvements in hair loss reduction. About 66 percent of them estimated that that they had lost less than half of their hair. The improvement was seen four week after their last chemo treatment.
Also, results showed that the women who wore cooling caps had a better quality of life than those who didn’t. Some of those who used the caps reported that they experienced mild headaches, while others abandoned the experiment because they were bothered by the coolness sensation.
However, the results are incredible. After four chemo treatments, half of the patients who used cooling caps experienced almost no hair loss, as compared to those who did not use the caps. The results differed from one medical center to another, but the researchers explained that these differences were given by an improper use of the cooling caps.
People still need to keep in mind one thing. The cooling caps can prevent hair loss to a large extent, but they cannot stop it. Patients might still lose parts of their hair. What the caps can do is lessen the amounts of hair lost and not stop hair loss completely.
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