Touro is proud to be the first hospital in Louisiana to offer the Paxman Scalp Cooling System. The Paxman Scalp Cooling System is globally recognized as the leading 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 you a much greater chance of keeping your 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.
How does scalp cooling work?
It 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.
Who is scalp cooling for?
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.
Scalp cooling cannot be used with the following conditions:
- Hematological malignancies (leukemia, non-Hodgkins and other generalized lymphomas)
- Cold allergy
- Cold agglutinins
- Manifest scalp metastases
- Imminent bone marrow ablation chemotherapy
- Imminent skull irradiation
Will you be able to keep all your hair?
Patients will lose some of their hair, and some patients will lose more than others. Every patient is different. Moderate hair loss is expected. If you do not have to wear a wig or head cover, it is considered a success.
How long does the cap have to be worn?
The 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. You may be moved to a different area for 90 minutes cooling.
How cold will it get?
Cold at first but not unbearable. It is much less noticeable after 10 – 15 minutes. Deep breathing can help at the initial stages of scalp cooling. The benefits can include immediate relaxation as well as an improved ability to handle stress or calm down.
Are there any side effects of scalp cooling?
Scalp cooling can cause discomfort if you’re sensitive to cold. Applying cold temperatures to the scalp can lower your overall body temperature, so we recommend that patients bring warm clothes or blankets to chemo treatments to prevent symptoms of hypothermia.
Short to medium-term side effects include:
- Cold discomfort (during scalp cooling)
- Headache (during and after scalp cooling)
- Forehead pain (during scalp cooling) caused by pressure and tightness of the cooling cap
- Dizziness or light-headedness (during scalp cooling)
Most of the symptoms are temporary and the benefits outweigh the side effects.
How much does Paxman Scalp Cooling cost?
Through a generous donor, 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
Click here to read Amanda’s story and testimonial about the Paxman cooling cap.