Hair loss from chemotherapy is usually ranked as the number one negative side effect of chemotherapy. For many women, it becomes an emotional trigger for self esteem issues. But, now there may be an answer for how women can keep their hair while they go through chemotherapy! It is called “DigniCap” by Dignitana.
The FDA has just approved the new cooling cap and it has already helped patients at the Weill Cornell Breast Center in New York. Patients, doctors and the like have said it is already making a huge difference in people’s lives. Made by the Swedish company Dignitana, DigniCap has been available in Europe but was recently approved for marketing in the U.S.
The device works by having an inner layer that circulates very cooled liquid at 37 degrees F around the scalp; and another layer essentially holds that cap in place and insulates the cold. Cold temperatures help chill the hair follicles, making the cells divide less frequently, and therefore making them less attractive as a target for the chemotherapy agent. The cold also constricts blood vessels in the scalp, making it harder for the chemo drug to reach the hair follicles.
Statistically speaking, recently the device was tested with 101 women in 5 different breast cancer centers, with 70% reporting hair loss prevention. Women who did not use it, reported 100% hair loss.
Women wear the cap about 30 min before treatment, during treatment, and for about 30min after. Although there is a lot of positive feedback around it, some doctors are concerned that the chilling effect of the cap might prevent chemotherapy from working on stray cancer cells there. It’s also important to note that the device may not work for every woman or every type of chemotherapy.
More research and tests are always in the works, but for now, it seems like the answer to keeping beautiful hair during chemotherapy may have finally arrived. It is expected to be available in major medical centers and hospitals in the coming months. Learn more about the device at www.dignicap.com/