February 05, 2018 1 min read

Hair loss can be a devastating side effect of having the cancer treatment Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a combination of powerful drugs used to treat cancer. Chemotherapy works by targeting all rapidly dividing cells in the body. Like cancer cells, the cells in your hair follicles also multiply quickly. So while chemo drugs are targeting cancer cells, they are also inadvertently attacking hair follicle cells.

For chemotherapy, it might be possible to try scalp cooling to reduce hair loss.

What is scalp cooling –

Scalp cooling lowers the temperature of your scalp and reduces the blood flow in the scalp. This reduces the amount of drug reaching the hair follicles on your head. With less of the cancer drugs getting to the hair follicles, the hair is less likely to die off and fall out. The different types of scalp cooling include a cool cap and a refrigerated cooling system.

When not to use scalp cooling –

Not all cancer types can allow you to use scalp cooling. You won’t normally have scalp cooling if there is too high a risk that there might be cancer cells in your scalp blood vessels. This is because the cells in the scalp blood vessels might survive the treatment. These cancers include leukaemia and lymphoma, or cancer that has spread to the scalp. Scalp cooling only blocks certain drugs and does not work for everyone. You might still have hair thinning, or lose your hair completely. You can't tell whether it will work for you until you try it.

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