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Scalp cooling is a type of treatment to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy. Cooling caps are silicone caps cooled to a very low temperature. They are also called scalp hypothermia. They are worn before, during and after treatment.
The UW Carbone Cancer Clinics uses the Paxman Scalp Cooling system. If you wish to use the system, please review scalp cooling details and costs at https://coldcap.com/.
Who can use a cooling cap?
Cooling caps are used in patients who have solid tumor cancers. They are used with certain chemotherapy drugs. They are most helpful when used in patients getting taxane chemotherapy. But success does vary. About half of patients feel they help. These patients report they do not need to wear a wig or head cover.
Cooling caps cannot be used in patients with hematological malignancies (leukemia). They cannot be used in patients who cannot stand very cold temperatures. Please discuss with an oncologist. Together, you can decide if scalp cooling is an option.
How does a cooling cap work?
Hair cells are the second fastest dividing cells in the body. Cancer cells are also fast dividing cells. Chemotherapy drugs work on fast dividing cells like those in cancers and hair cells. This can cause hair loss 2-3 weeks after your first treatment. Cooling caps reduce the blood flow to your hair follicles which may reduce hair loss.
How do you use a cooling cap?
You wear the cooling cap before, during, and for a time after a treatment. The caps come in many sizes. Caps are attached to a machine that sends cold fluid through the cap.
How do I get scalp cooling with my infusions?
Your oncologist will send a prescription to Paxman Scalp Cooling. Staff at your oncologist's office work with you to schedule the equipment. This will make sure it is ready to use with your infusions. Contact Paxman to send payment.
Who to Call
UW Carbone Cancer Clinic
UW Carbone Cancer Clinic within 1 S. Park St. Clinic
UW Health Breast Center