When a woman receives a breast cancer diagnosis it's of course devastating. To add insult to injury many women will lose their hair as a result of chemotherapy to treat their cancer. There has been much research into cooling caps that, if worn during therapy, can reduce hair loss. The Dignicap, developed in Sweden has gained FDA approval and another cap, made by Paxman Cooling is now being studied for FDA approval as well.
In a recent trial at the Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the Paxman system was used on 235 women with stage 1 or stage 2 breast cancer who were undergoing taxane based chemo. After four cycles of treatment 50% of the women kept their hair, while those who did not use the cap had 0% hair preservation. The caps are currently very expensive at almost $1,000 per patient and not covered by insurance since they are experimental. Researchers hope that this trial will speed up the FDA approval process so women can take advantage of the hair preservation benefit that seems possible for some. The research was funded by the manufacturer of the caps.