In a recent blog, “Scalp cooling may help patients undergoing chemotherapy save their hair,” I told you about women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer who are trying to save their hair by wearing “a gel-filled helmet.” Several of you wanted more details on where to find one.
This is an important topic, Bloomberg News reports, for about 900,000 cancer patients underwent chemotherapy in 2010, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. And more than “60 percent of the 54,000 women in the US with early-stage breast tumors will suffer total hair loss in chemotherapy,” according to said Jennifer Obel, an oncologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Illinois.
However, 20 cancer patients at the University of California, San Francisco are “testing a helmet-like silicone gel cap, made by Dignitana AB that’s designed to cool the scalp and keep her tresses intact.”
Patients who have used the scalp-cooling caps have “retained most or all of their hair.” But Dr. Hope Rugo, a UCSF physician, “said more research is needed to assess safety and usefulness.”
Nevertheless, if you or someone you love is to undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer, you may want to find out if this technology is available at a cancer center near you.