Silicon cap helps chemotherapy patients keep their hair - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Silicon cap helps chemotherapy patients keep their hair

(KHSB/CNN) - More breast cancer patients are using a cap that helps prevent their hair from falling out.

While many women would be concerned about their new highlights of grays, Marilyn Scherer embraces her salt and pepper roots.

"I got to keep my hair. I didn't feel sick and I didn't look sick," she said.

That's because while Scherer was diagnosed with cancer in July, began chemotherapy in August and completed treatment in December, she still has nearly all of her hair due to a new medical technology called the Dignicap.

"You immediately think, oh gosh, am I going to die? That's what everybody thinks you know when you hear cancer. Then you think, oh wow, am I going to have to do chemo? You worry. And you know if you do chemo, you are going to lose your hair and that's awful. It was devastating for me," she said.

The Dignicap is a medical device that preserves a cancer patient's hair by cooling the scalp during chemotherapy.

"When you cool the scalp there is less blood flow to the scalp. And so less blood flow means that the chemo that is going into your veins isn't circulating to high concentrations in the scalp and the hair follicles don't have that cell turn over and trauma that they would otherwise have," said
Dr. Stephanie Graff, an oncologist:

Scherer says while losing one's hair is minor in comparison to losing one's life, Dignicap allows cancer patients to focus on treatment instead of its side effects.

"When I look in the mirror every day, I want to see me. I don't want to be reminded that I have breast cancer," she said.

Right now the Dignicap is only cleared by the FDA for preserving hair for breast cancer patients, but doctors at Menorah Medical Center say the treatment would work for patients with any kind of cancer.

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