Chemo Cold Caps
A chemo cold cap is a new device that stands to pull focus away from one of the most important aspects of Cancer treatments: Hair loss. Our hair makes us feel special and defines our sense of style. But what do you do when you lose your hair to a disease? A lot of diseases affect the body but none have a head -to-toe effects like Cancer. About 1,660,290 new cases of Cancer will be diagnosed in 2013 (American Cancer Society). Those people facing this terrible disease won’t be able to hide it because the treatments causing hair loss. Cancer hair loss, also known as Chemotherapy-induced alopecia, the main side-affect of Cancer, may now be a preventable one with these chemo cold caps.
In simple terms, super-cold temperatures, delivered via these chemo cold caps, would slow the blood flow to the hair follicles, thus preventing the chemotherapy drugs from attacking the hair. These chemo cold caps have been sold all over the world and are gaining popularity here in the U.S. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the concept for use in the U.S. but that has not stopped Cancer patients using them. However, using non-FDA approved products is at ones own risk. Chemo cold caps can be ordered online from several companies. I discovered one company seeking FDA approval in order to market this as a medical device and have it covered by insurance. That company is Sweden’s Dignitana. Their product, patented under DigniCap™, held clinical trials in Scandinavia, Russia, and Japan and results showed eight out of ten patients kept their hair and a wig was not necessary. The U.S. is well on its way to getting this device on the market because the FDA has ordered studies to determine the viability of these cold caps.
The average cost for each unit is around $500. The demand is there but since insurance doesn’t cover the cost, there is a foundation that has emerged to assist patients wanting to use the chemo cold caps. Cold Caps Assistance Project (CCAPS) is a non-profit group located in Austin, Texas founded by a Cancer survivor who used chemo cold caps during her treatment. Even though she experienced hair loss after the first chemo treatment, the cold cap therapy prevented further damage. In addition to providing funding, CCAPS helps educate the medical community on the benefits of using this device.
Someday there will be a cure for Cancer but until then, any medicine or medical device created to ease the pain and suffering, is a welcome addition to this fight!
- Cold caps tested to prevent hair loss during chemo (appeal-democrat.com)
- Can ‘cold cap’ therapy help prevent chemo-linked hair loss? (ctvnews.ca)
- Cold caps tested to prevent hair loss during chemo (nbcnews.com)
- Cold Caps for Chemotherapy Hair Loss: Costs, Risks and Benefits (everydayhealth.com)
- U.S. researchers about to put chemotherapy cold caps to the test (ctvnews.ca)
- Cold caps tested to prevent hair loss during chemo (wjla.com)
- Cold caps tested to prevent hair loss during chemo (sacbee.com)