About Scalp Cooling
Even though it has been used successfully in Europe and other countries for decades, scalp cooling to reduce chemotherapy-induced hair loss is a relatively new option, in the United States.
Cooling the scalp during chemotherapy is thought to prevent hair loss by affecting two cellular processes: (1) Blood flow to hair follicle cells is reduced, therefore exposing them to less chemotherapy medications, and (2) the rate of cellular metabolism is slowed, thereby reducing the effect of whatever chemo medication is present.
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Scalp Cooling Treatment Options
There are two basic approaches to scalp cooling: Manual Cooling Systems and Automated Cooling Systems. Manual caps must be swapped out periodically throughout treatment and require a source of refrigeration to keep replacement caps cold during the infusion process – usually dry ice in a cooler, though some infusion centers make dedicated freezers available to patients. The Rapunzel Project has been instrumental in installing freezers for manual caps in many infusion centers across the country. Automated Systems include self-contained refrigeration units that continuously cool the cap during treatment, eliminating the need for multiple cap changes and for access to freezers or dry ice.
Patients must take responsibility for obtaining caps and cooling resource and for administering treatment.
Penguin Cold Caps
Medical centers can offer the treatment directly to patients and oversee the treatment process.
Diginicap (FDA Cleared)
Paxman (FDA Cleared)