These cooling caps help limit hair loss in breast cancer patients

Over the course of their treatment, researchers took pictures of the participants' scalp and hair. She wrote an editorial accompanying the studies in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. These cooling caps came as an innovation in the United States, but they are already established in other countries. The women all had either stage I or II breast cancer.

All the control group lost their hair.

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. 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.

One of the most distressing side effects of their treatment is hair loss.

"These findings appear to represent a major step forward in improving the quality of life of individuals with cancer", says Dr. Dawn Hershman, who studies the effects of cancer treatments at the Columbia University School of Medicine in NY.

Nearly 66 percent of Rugo's paitents and 51 percent of Nangia's patients estimated that they have kept almost half of their hair due to the cooling caps.

The cooling device used a double cap placed on the scalp for 30 minutes before, during and after the treatment, and maintained the temperature at around 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Researchers aren't positive how the caps might stop hair loss but suggest that since cold reduces blood flow to the area, less of the toxins from chemo can reach the hair cells.

Cooling caps-already widely used across Europe - may offer the solution to hair loss, long considered an inevitable side effect of chemotherapy. Additionally, we will continue to refine the application of the cap to ensure an even, tight fight around the scalp, allowing for maximum effectiveness. The study was conducted between August 2013 and October 2014.

Numerous patients reported mild headaches or scalp pain associated with the scalp cooling. And three of them dropped out due to feeling cold.

Bleicher, who's also an associate professor of surgical oncology at Fox Chase, said that "there has been some concern that if less chemotherapy circulates to the scalp, breast cancer metastases could have a greater likelihood of occurring there". From UCSF, co-authors are Michelle E. Melisko, MD, and Laura Esserman, MD, MBA; from Weill Cornell Medicine, Anne Moore, MD, was also a co-author.

About UCSF: UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Claudette Foreman, a research coordinator at Baylor College of Medicine, demonstrates the Paxman cooling device. In the USA, about 40,610 women are expected to die from the disease. Weill Cornell Medicine faculty provide comprehensive patient care at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital and New York-Presbyterian/Queens.

  • Lila Blake