Scalp cooling studies show potential for preventing hair loss in breast cancer patients

Hair loss is a distressing side effect of chemotherapy. Scalp cooling, a technique of cooling the scalp before, during and after administration of chemotherapy, has been developed to help combat this side effect and improve the quality of lives for patients.

Scalp cooling does have its critics, though. Although widely used in the UK and Europe, scalp cooling is not as prominent within the US. Two randomised controlled studies that were published on the 14th February 2017 could provide more insight for prospective users.

The studies conducted by the University of California, San Francisco and The Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, both saw beneficial results. The participants for the studies were women diagnosed with stage 1 or 2 breast cancer. Their hair loss was then compared to participants with the same diagnosis and treatment but who were not given scalp cooling during chemo.

The first study found 36% of participants who wore the cooling cap had only 25% hair loss by the end of treatment, and 5% experienced no hair loss. The Baylor College of Medicine's study found that 50% of all participants kept at least 50% of their hair. The participants that did not have scalp cooling lost the majority, if not all their hair.

Both studies did reinforce that scalp cooling success does rely on the type of chemo, cancer diagnosis, and patient compliance; and consequently may not be suitable for all persons having chemo. But for those who know they need chemo, scalp cooling could alleviate the burden and stress associated with hair loss.

Read the full article here

For more information regarding scalp cooling read our guide here 

The Elasto-Gel Hypothermia Cooling Cap for hair loss can be found here 

Have you tried scalp cooling? We would love to hear your experiences by either commenting below or contacting our Nursing Lead, Elizabeth, at elizabeth@livebetterwith.com

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