The first time I heard about “Cold Cap Therapy” was in January, 2011. A friend called to tell me there was an article in the Washington Post about a patient using a novel approach to prevent hair loss with chemo (who BTW was working with one of my VERY favorite oncologists Dr. Fred Smith.) Click here to read the article. Very intriguing to say the least…
Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)… Cold Caps are basically head coverings cooled to below 30 degrees centigrade and are worn during chemotherapy to stop hair loss. It is believed that Cold Caps freeze the hair follicle, essentially sending it into hibernation. Preliminary studies have shown that the Cold Caps help approximately 70% of users save their hair. Though the Cold Caps have been widely used in Europe for many years, they are now just starting to make serious headway (no pun intended) in the US.
Many US doctors are not only skeptical of the results, but they are also concerned that the Cold Caps may prevent the chemo from reaching cancer cells in the head & neck area. The bottom line is that there is no definitive proof either way in terms of their effectiveness or harmfulness.
The discussion boards on BreastCancer.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving women the latest information about breast cancer, has over a thousand posts related to Cold Cap Therapy. There are dozens of pages of comments from women who are in favor of using the caps. The Rapunzel Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women save their hair through the use of Cold Cap Therapy… it’s their way of saying FU cancer… you’re NOT in control… WE ARE! Check out this video below from YouTube. You can also watch a video from ABC News for more information.