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Penguin Ice Cap

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

I have a question for all you knowledgeable Pink Sisters. I have a friend who will be starting chemo(TAC) on Thurs. Someone sent her info on this Penguin ice cap.It's quite expensive but she's thinking of trying it. I seem to remember a while back that this was discussed and someone stated it was bad. I don't remember the specifics so if anyone has any info, I would appreciate it. Also, I know there are some good websites for free scarves and other head gear. Could you please let me know. Thank you all so much. HUGS!! Cathy

LoveBabyJesus's picture
Posts: 1680
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Cathy!

Personally, I would not get this because I heard and have read that the chemo doesn't go to your brain, this is why the hair doesn't fall. It does something not to allow the treatment to go there. I am almost done with my treatment, lost all my hair, and I am happy I didn't buy this product. If I am going through all this trouble with such strong drugs, I want to make sure it hits every part of my body so that cells don't go to my brain, IF...It may work for some people - not sure if there are any stats on this as the product is probably new. But I wouldn't take this chance.

That was just my personal thought. I hope your friend makes the right deicision.

Good luck to your friend. I hope she has a smooth recovery.

TraciInLA's picture
Posts: 1994
Joined: Jul 2009

If someone I loved had to go through chemo, I would urge them not to use any kind of ice/cold cap -- the reason these caps sometimes work is that they prevent the chemo drugs from reaching your scalp.

When I did chemo myself, the last thing I would have wanted was to do anything that might cancel out any cancer-killing effects. Why would I put myself through chemo, if I was going to sabotage my own treatment at the same time? Die, evil cancer bugs, die -- no, you don't get to hide from the chemo, by running to my head or anywhere else!

I've shared this before here, but it usually makes everyone giggle, so I'll share it again: When I did chemo, for some reason the first place where I lost my hair was in the "southern region." So my girlfriend (oh-so-helpfully) suggested that I sit through my next infusion with an ice bag between my legs -- mainly just to see the reaction from the chemo nurses!

:-) Traci

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Thank you ladies for your responses. My friend sent me the article she was given re: this. They actually use it in NYC at Cornell Weil medical Center. I agree with your thoughts and will pass this info on. Thanks again. HUGS!!! Cathy

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I agree with Traci...and in addition there is some recent research suggesting that heat applied with chemo can make the chemo more effective. (If I'd known that I would have put heating pads on my breast!)



Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Bumped up! Any other feedback would be appreciated! HUGS!!!

Mitzi333's picture
Posts: 511
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks for the chuckle... wow, to see the reaction of the chemo nurse would be a blast!!!

My vote is NO way use an ice/cold cap. Let the chemo do it's job. I would not recommend anything to prevent or mininize the intended effects of chemo.

This is a VERY serious subject, but loved Traci's humor. Laughter is Always good for the soul.

Mitzi ;0)

missrenee's picture
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

I have seen articles against the ice cap as well. I would not have used it. After all--to me, you can't compare the loss of hair to using everything possible to fight cancer. It's just hair. Loved your story, Traci!

Hugs, Renee

Posts: 176
Joined: Oct 2010

I don't actually know anything about the change in effectiveness of the chemo due to these caps, but I remember looking at a picture of someone using it and it just looked ridiculously uncomfortable. Chemo is already not 'enjoyable.' Why add that discomfort on top of it. And the cap doesn't always work or only works partially. Nothing like putting up with that procedure, dealing with chemo and its host of side effects and then having this sketchy head of hair. Not for me for sure!

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Thank you all for your responses! I spoke to my friend lastnight and she decided NOT to use the cap.
Her MD told her she could do whatever she felt she needed to do. She found out if she uses the cap, she can't use hot water to shower, can't wash her hair but 1-2 x a week and not get any water/soap on her scalp and she can't blow dry it etc... She decided there were too many don't dos, and this is not the time to worry about that and then ,maybe, have the chemo not work properly. Again, Thank you all for your input. HUGS!! Cathy

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