Many patients rank hair loss as one of the most concerning side- effects of chemotherapy. The psychological effect and can influence self-esteem. Scalp cooling can reduce or overcome the chemotherapy-induced alopecia. Southside Cancer Care is one of only a few centres to offer this service and it is complimentary.
Why does chemotherapy make hair fall out?
Chemotherapy works by targeting rapidly dividing cells in the body. Hair is the second fastest dividing cell in the body, which is why so many chemotherapy medicines cause hair loss.
Patients who experience hair loss as a side effect will usually see a change approximately 2 weeks after commencing treatment.
How does it work?
The damage that chemotherapy causes to the hair follicle may be alleviated by scalp cooling. It works by reducing the temperature of the scalp by a few degrees immediately before, during and after the treatment. By reducing the temperature of the scalp, this reduces blood flow to the area, which can help prevent or minimise hair loss
How long does it take?
30 minutes pre-infusion cooling, during infusion and for up to 90 minutes after drug infusion. Your doctor will discuss this with you and made recommendations.