Recent Trial Confirms Effectiveness Of Using Cooling Caps During Chemotherapy

By Christie Abagon , Dec 11, 2016 03:40 PM EST

A year after the Food and Drug Administration approved the first cooling cap system to help patients with cancer, a new clinical trial now seals the proof that cooling caps really reduce the risk of hair loss during chemotherapy sessions.  This could represent one of the biggest chemo breakthroughs of all time.

Silicone Cooling Cap Reduces Chemo Agents Sent To Hair Follicles

According to Morning Ticker, chemotherapy stops or slows down the growth of cancer cells, which divide and grow so quickly.  Unfortunately, hair cells also divide fast and gets targeted during chemo treatment, which is why many cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy go bald.  The cooling cap works by reducing the amount of chemo agent sent to hair follicles. 

Dr Julie Rani Nangia, lead researcher, said: "Chemotherapy fights cancer by attacking rapidly dividing tumour cells. However, hair cells also divide rapidly so the drugs target them as well, which is what causes alopecia."

"Fear of hair loss has been known to make women avoid chemotherapy or try unproven alternative treatments, so it is good that we now have something proven to offer them," Nangia added.

More Than Half Of Those Who Took Part Of The Study Did Not Go Bald After Four Chemo Cycles

About 95 breast cancer patients participated in the clinical trial to test the efficacy of cooling caps, and 50.5 percent had a good amount of hair after four chemotherapy cycles, reported Daily Mail.  More so, 47 percent who did not use a cooling cap went bald after the same amount of chemo treatments.

In the US, about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.  "Hair is important, especially to women. Hair loss can really affect how a patient feels," Nangia said.  This breakthrough in chemotherapy could help cancer patients personally and emotionally. 

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