Touro Infirmary is proud to be the first hospital in Louisiana to offer the Paxman Scalp Cooling System, a globally recognized product for hair loss prevention during chemotherapy treatment. Paxman allows more control, precision, and coverage than traditional scalp cooling treatments like ice packs and cold caps. The lightweight design provides a close fit around the patient’s head. Research shows that these systems give patients a much greater chance of keeping their hair. The use of scalp cooling has been proven to be effective in preventing chemotherapy induced alopecia or hair loss, and can result in women retaining much of the hair.
Touro patient Amanda Schwald was among the first patients to benefit from the Paxman Scalp Cooling System at Touro.
“I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason,” says Schwald. “A week before Thanksgiving 2017, I got a call from Dr. Cheng’s office that the Paxman Cooling Cap arrived to Touro right before my first chemo session. Paxman overnighted my cap, and I started chemotherapy on November 29,” says Schwald.
Scalp cooling works by reducing the temperature of the scalp by a few degrees immediately before, during and after administration of chemotherapy. This in turn reduces the blood flow to hair follicles, which may prevent or minimize hair loss. Scalp cooling can be used with all solid tumor cancers that are treated with chemotherapy drugs that target rapidly dividing cells and the matrix keratinocytes, which results in hair loss. Patients will lose some of their hair, and some patients will lose more than others. Every patient is different and moderate hair loss is expected. If a patient does not have to wear a wig or head cover, the scalp cooling is considered a success.
A cap is worn for 30 minutes before the start of chemotherapy, during the infusion of the drugs and for up to 90 minutes after drug infusion. Scalp cooling can cause discomfort if a patient is sensitive to cold. Applying cold temperatures to the scalp can lower overall body temperature, so patients are encouraged to bring warm clothes or blankets to chemotherapy treatments to prevent symptoms of hypothermia.
Most of the mild symptoms are temporary and the benefits outweigh the side effects.
Through a generous donor, the Touro Infirmary Foundation has established Locks Everlasting, which raises funds to assist patients in participating in scalp cooling treatment. The opportunity to keep one’s hair while undergoing cancer treatment can be empowering in someone’s battle against cancer. You can support Locks Everlasting by donating to the Touro Infirmary Foundation at www.touro.com/donate.
Ask your oncologist if scalp cooling is an option for you.
For more information, contact Touro’s Cancer Center Navigator at: 504-210-4475