A new technology giving women choices during breast cancer treatment is proving successful. It’s designed to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy.
Cold caps cool a patient’s scalp down while they’re receiving treatment. Lowering that temperature then reduces the blood flow to hair follicles. The process got approval from the FDA and there are now several products on the market. A new study finds it’s working, which is providing hope to those touched by cancer.
“You don’t know a person’s story until you talk to them.” Breast Cancer Survivor, Katie Parker, said.
Talking to Parker, you’ll learn that hers is a story is of survival. But, 5 years ago, her appearance told a different one.
“You know they say beauty is skin deep, but it’s so much more than that,” Parker explained. “Losing your hair is an outward sign of being ill.”
Parker’s breast cancer diagnosis came just after her 30th birthday. Surgery and chemotherapy were her course of treatment, she says she tried to stay positive about losing her hair.
“I had many hairstyles over the years I kind of looked at it as, alright, I’m going to have a few more. I actually had a hair cutting party I did several different styles including a Mohawk before it was all gone.” Parker said.
Almost 5 years later, this survivor says she’s still reminded of her cancer journey every time she looks in the mirror.
“The growing back process was, and still, bothers me, my hair came back I would say about 65% of my hair came back, my brows did not so I had to tattoo those. You know, it’s something I still struggle with.” Parker said.
Thanks to a new treatment, it doesn’t have to be the way a story like Parker’s is told. A new study shows cold cap treatment helped half of the women who used the device keep at least half their hair.
“It’s not vanity, it is hair, makeup, fashion they’re all things that make us feel good and you take away even one of those components, it can make a huge impact.” Parker said.
Parker says it’s about much more than growing hair, it’s about growing confidence.
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel good and look good and everybody should have those options to do that.” Parker said.
This treatment can be expensive costing up to $500 dollars a month during chemo. But, because of the FDA’s approval, some insurance companies are starting to cover it.
More research is being done over concerns that if the chemo isn’t getting to the scalp cancer could develop there.
Cold Cap Therapy is not for everyone, healthcare professionals say to talk to your doctor to discuss your options.