Cold Cap for Chemotherapy
National Hair Loss offers a variety of resources and education to patients with hair loss including Cold Cap for chemotherapy. We recently interviewed a lovely woman who used cold cap therapy during chemotherapy. She wanted to share her story and her Cold Cap results in hopes of helping others.
Cold Cap For Chemotherapy
Brandy: Tell me about how your breast cancer journey began. How did you find out about Cold Cap for chemotherapy?
Patient: I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast cancer and initially didn’t know I would need chemotherapy. After finding out I would be doing chemo my worst fear was losing my hair. Cold Cap during chemotherapy came up in conversation and I began researching. In my research, I found that with this method [cold cap] you could lose most of the hair that was already on its way out but should retain new and intermediate hairs. The thought of losing my hair was not something I could just simply accept. I needed to do whatever I could to keep it.
Cold Cap for Hair Loss
Brandy: That is completely understandable! Hair is optional thank goodness but most of us want to keep the hair that we have. What information did you find about Cold Cap for chemotherapy patients?
Patient: Well, there is a lot of information out there! Once I contacted the company, I was given instructions on how to obtain the cap and directed to further instructions online. I then realized that the process was very specific and I would need someone to help me do it. It was all very foreign and quite overwhelming initially. I would say that IF people do fail at this method [cold cap therapy] it could be due to administering the cap improperly. I did realize that even with the caps, shedding would be normal.
Cold Cap Process
Brandy: That would be quite overwhelming to not have support with you to make sure the treatment is working properly! Can I ask, what was the price range for the Cold Cap therapy you decided on?
Patient: It was around $600 a month through the company I chose. The caps are returned when you finish your treatment. I did also find a company independent of the Cold Cap company that was willing to do a Skype consultation to give me a proper overview of how the cap is applied and what follow up hair care instructions would be beneficial. That consultation was helpful to me!
Brandy: Can you take our readers, who may be considering Cold Cap for chemo, what is involved in using this hair saving method?
Patient: I contacted the Cold Cap company, they interviewed me regarding my hair type and which type of chemotherapy medications I would be receiving. A protocol was then written custom to me for the temperature of the caps and time intervals to change them. Thankfully my husband, best friend and daughter who flew in from out of state always accompanied me to my chemotherapy treatments so they could tag team the process and make sure my cold caps were done properly. They were so amazing and quite integral in the whole process!
Cold Cap Side Effects
Brandy: A team approach! I love it! So, what steps were involved to make sure cold cap process was administered properly?
Patient: Before each visit we had to purchase dry ice. When applying the cap, it is very specific in how it needs to be put on to be most effective and to not burn your scalp or skin. You need your team to properly rotate caps through the dry ice, monitor cap temperature and change caps at the proper time intervals. In my experience, you need to arrive at your treatment an hour early which may require you to start prepping ice and cap in the waiting room which is what we had to do. You will need to start wearing the cap an hour before the chemo medications are administered and wear the cold cap a total of 8 hours to reap the benefits of the treatment. We followed protocol “by the book” and even once had to pull the car over when driving home to change my cap. It was quite the show and I had such great support from my husband, daughter and friend. The nurses are not allowed to help you with this process so make sure you have a loving team come with you like I did!
Brandy: Did you have any negative side effects from the Cold Cap process during chemotherapy?
Patient: When you put the cap on it was so cold it brought tears to my eyes! On one occasion, I did mildly burn the skin on the top of my ear. Aside from that I had no adverse side effects.
Written By: Brandy Lesaffre
Read more about cold cap for chemotherapy patients and cold cap results: Hair After Using Cold Cap
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