Scalp Cooling Cap During Chemo
We are sure anyone undergoing chemo has asked themselves if the cooling cap will help prevent hair loss. Not all hospitals use the cooling cap so it would really be a post code lottery as to whether it would be available to you here in the UK.
We have had a number of customers who have used the cap with varying levels of success. Obviously, if it's available it's worth speaking to your cancer nurses about it to see if it is right for you.
It would seem that the a lot of patients using the cold cap have struggled a little. It is VERY cold (feels like brain freeze) and a few of our customers have found the discomfort of using one too much to bear. Others have used them even though they have found tolerating it quite difficult but have found some of their hair coming out after 3 weeks. It would seem that there is a 50% chance of it working (which may be conservative as others have said 80%) so if you are able to tolerate the very tight cap, the coldness and the extra 2 hours it takes for chemo to be administered with the cap, then it really is worth giving it a go because hair loss is a serious worry for anyone undergoing chemo. Most patients are told they will lose some hair, it can be up to 50% apparently, but please note that we are speaking of our customer's experiences here, we know that others have had a much higher success rate and if you are one of those people, we would love to hear from you! In fact, whilst everyone seems to have some level of hair loss, it does seems to grow back quite quickly. If, however, you ARE going to lose 50% of your hair, then really, it will be thin enough that you would probably want to wear a wig anyway. We have read of people who have used the cap and had no hair loss at all so please do your research and read as much as you can about it so that you can make an informed choice. Anything that helps keep your hair has got to be worth a go!
We would suggest having a back up plan. Go and try some wigs on before treatment begins. Get the shop to make a note of the wig(s) you like. Maybe buy a couple of scarves or turbans to be on the safe side. We hope the cold cap works brilliantly but if by chance it doesn't, you can contact your wig shop and get that wig you tried on! You have nothing to lose either way!
Please check out the details on this website from the people who manufacture the cap. It's good.
Also look at the Cancer Research website. There are forums on there where people have posted about their experiences. It may be useful.