Innovative Ice-Free Scalp Cooling During Chemotherapy Prevents, Reduces Hair Loss for Breast Cancer Patients

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Innovative Ice-Free Scalp Cooling During Chemotherapy Prevents, Reduces Hair Loss for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer patient Laura Carey returned to work one week after beginning chemotherapy, but without a demoralizing side-effect indicative of this type of cancer treatment – hair loss.

Breast cancer patient Laura Carey returned to work one week after beginning chemotherapy, but without a demoralizing side-effect indicative of this type of cancer treatment – hair loss.

Carey is among the first breast cancer patients at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute to successfully prevent and reduce hair loss during chemotherapy by using an innovative ice-free cooling cap system, called Paxman.

“I came back to work after chemotherapy treatment and nobody knew my health status,” says Carey, a 51-year-old corporate director at a major health system in Southeast Michigan. “I can be out with friends and family and they don’t focus on the fact that I’m sick. Even though it’s just the hair that they see, it may give them confidence that I’m still the same, or things are going to be OK.”

“This is not about vanity. It is about women being able to keep their privacy. Using a hat or bandana declares to the community that something is going on with this person, and patients may not want to disclose that. It can be very distressing,” says Haytham Ali, M.D., senior medical oncologist for the Breast Cancer Program at Henry Ford Cancer Institute

Dr. Ali says Carey is a good candidate for the cool cap treatment based on her type of breast cancer, the chemotherapy recommended as part of her treatment plan, and her positive attitude. Carey has been receiving Taxotere, Herceptin, and carboplatin for early stage, invasive ductal carcinoma.

“With my type of hair and the medication I’m receiving, I was told I could expect the hair loss to occur after 17 days of the first treatment. On those days, I probably lost 20-25 strands of hair,” says Carey. Normal daily hair loss is about 100 strands.

“Hair loss can make a patient not want to do chemotherapy, and that requires me to convince them of the importance of chemotherapy,” says Dr. Ali, who is the driving force behind the scalp hypothermia program at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute.

Read on: Innovative Ice-Free Scalp Cooling During Chemotherapy Prevents, Reduces Hair Loss for Breast Cancer Patients

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