Thursday, September 21, 2023

Caring for Cancer Patients: AKUH Launches Cold Cap Services for Chemotherapy

One of the most common symptoms faced by people undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer is hair loss. While hair loss caused by chemotherapy is usually temporary, it is often a stressful and upsetting event for cancer patients, particularly women.

The reason hair falls during cancer treatment is because chemotherapy kills rapidly dividing cells like cancer cells; however, it also kills other types of rapidly dividing cells like the ones in hair follicles that are responsible for hair growth.

Cold caps are helmet-like devices filled with cold fluid which are connected to machines that patients wear on their heads before, during, and after the chemotherapy session. These helps protect the hair follicles by cooling down the scalp, which temporarily restricts blood flow to the hair follicles. This means less chemotherapy medication reaches the hair follicle cells, significantly lowering the chances of hair loss.

Are Cold Caps Effective?

Yes, cold capping gives patients an average 50% chance of keeping 50% or more of their hair, according to Paxman, the global leaders in scalp cooling. Every person will have different reactions to cold cap therapy; it might be very effective in retaining hair for some people and not for others.

Cold caps have been noted to be most successful in patients with breast cancer and colon cancer, with most people being able to retain at least 50% of their hair. On the other hand, cold caps might be less effective with blood cancers like lymphoma and leukemia since their chemotherapy medication is quite strong. Consult expert oncologists at AKUH to find out if cold cap therapy can work for you in reducing hair loss.

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