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Ice Caps

kjhbrteam's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

I am going to be starting chemo shortly and a friend of mine mentioned wearing an "ice cap" during my treatments. This is supposed to keep your hair from falling out. Any thoughts??

heidijez's picture
Posts: 441
Joined: Mar 2010

it's not just an ice cap - it is expensive and took a team of people to keep fresh caps for the woman in the video. here is the link to the story


Boppy_of_6's picture
Posts: 1138
Joined: Apr 2010

I heard about this just this morning on my local news. A lady in Bryan TX had used one and said her hair just thinned. She said it was 500+ a month to rent the caps and a $1200 deposit. I beleive it was somewhere in the UK and called Penguin Cold Caps. God Bless
((( Hugs))) Janice

Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

I heard about this too. It really works then? Good luck if you get one.


cindycflynn's picture
Posts: 1133
Joined: Oct 2009

from my former boss. Her sister had used it during chemo and didn't lose her hair.

When I spoke to my doctor about it, she discouraged it. She said that the reason it works is that it stops the blood flow to that part of your body and the chemicals don't reach the hair roots. That means that the chemo won't reach every part of your body. For me, if I was going to go through this I didn't want to take a chance that 1 stray cancer cell would be hiding out there in my scalp, so I just let my hair go.

mollyz's picture
Posts: 753
Joined: Sep 2010

This was own an older post,i think everyone agreed it wasn't worth taking the chance it was said that the chemo might not be able to get to your head and that would be defeating the purpose.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

.Hair Loss
12/6/2010 (7:32:35am)Tags: hair loss alopeciaComments: (0)

This seems a natural companion to yesterday's piece about nausea since hair loss is the other major hated side effect from chemotherapy. Not all chemo drugs cause hair loss (alopecia), but those used in standard adjuvant treatment do. I have written an information sheet about dealing with anticipated hair loss: when to expect it, how to deal with the crisis, what to put on your head. If you would like a copy, please email me: hhill@bidmc.harvard.edu

Today's posting is a short article (or, rather, the introduction and then a link) about managing hair loss. Frankly, I find the tone a bit off-putting, but the information may be of interest to you. Please note: the author refers to "scalp cooling" as a way to possibly minimize hair loss. This theory has been around for a long time, and I remember women sitting in our Infusion Area, with special ice turbans on their heads, twenty years ago. There were and are several problems with this strategy: 1) the ice packs often give the wearer intense headaches, 2) there is some concern about reducing blood flow to the scalp because the whole idea of chemotherapy is to get the anti-cancer drug everywhere in your body, and 3) it does not work very well. Women still lose their hair. That said, here is the article from MedScape:

Chemotherapy-induced Hair Loss R. M. Trüeb, MD


Chemotherapy-induced hair loss occurs with an estimated incidence of 65%. Forty-seven percent of female patients consider hair loss to be the most traumatic aspect of chemotherapy and 8% would decline chemotherapy due to fears of hair loss. At present, no approved pharmacologic intervention exists to circumvent this side-effect of anticancer treatment, though a number of agents have been investigated on the basis of the current understanding of the underlying pathobiology. Among the agents that have been evaluated, topical minoxidil was able to reduce the severity or shorten the duration, but it did not prevent hair loss. The major approach to minimize chemotherapy-induced hair loss is by scalp cooling, though most published data on this technique are of poor quality. Fortunately, the condition is usually reversible, and appropriate hair and scalp care along with temporarily wearing a wig may represent the most effective coping strategy. However, some patients may show changes in color and/or texture of regrown hair, and in limited cases the reduction in density may persist.

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9080
Joined: Aug 2009

discouraged from it.. 98% of all women and men, will lose their hair. Fact.

I say if you have the money, and you've found a place to purchase -- go for it. Hair loss is horrible -- its like your telling the entire world that you have cancer -- that you are fighting for you life -

Good luck with your decision ..

Vicki Sam

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