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Cold Caps Help Cancer Patients Keep Their Hair

Cold Caps Help Cancer Patients Keep Their Hair - For the first few days after her breast cancer diagnosis last summer, Heather Millar kept it together.

But when the 47-year-old San Francisco woman finally cried, the tears fell, in part, at the thought of losing her hair.

“That’s a world you never hope to be a part of,” said Millar, a freelance writer and mother of a 9-year-old daughter. “The hair, it’s not the most important thing, but it’s such a stigma of cancer. The minute you’re wearing a scarf or something, it makes social interactions weird.”

Cold Caps Help Cancer Patients Keep Their Hair

Three chemotherapy sessions later, Millar has managed to avoid the fate that affects at least 65 percent of cancer patients dosed with the powerful drugs that target disease. Many start shedding their hair after just one treatment.

She still has most of her shoulder-length, dark blond locks, thanks to an experimental treatment that uses extreme cold to prevent cancer patients from losing their hair. Millar is one of just four patients in the U.S. so far to try the “DigniCap,” a tightly fitting hat equipped with a circulating cooling gel that chills hair follicles to limit the amount of chemotherapy they absorb.

Cold Caps Help Cancer Patients Keep Their Hair


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