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Scalp cooling is a means to lower scalp temperature to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy. Although there are several methods of scalp cooling, it often consists of a hypothermia cap connected to a computer-operating cooling and control unit. The system circulates coolant through channels in the cap, and sensors ensure optimal temperature is continuously maintained throughout treatment.
Scalp cooling works by inducing vasoconstriction and reduction of metabolism, which leads to reduced blood flow to the hair follicles in the period of peak plasma concentration of the chemotherapy agent. As a result, the hair follicles become less vulnerable to the damage of the chemotherapy agent. ■
Hair loss can be a devastating side effect of chemotherapy, but the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the DigniCap Cooling System and the growing acceptance of scalp-cooling methods in the United States may improve the quality of life for many patients receiving...