New Therapy offered by ThedaCare Relies on Cool Temps
People are fighting cancer deserve all the care and warmth their families and caregivers can muster. However, a new FDA-approved therapy offered by ThedaCare relies on sub-zero temperatures (approximately -30 degrees Celsius) to do its good work.
Chemo Cold CapsTM are customized to a person’s chemotherapy regimen to cool a patient’s scalp before, during, and after chemotherapy infusion to constrict the blood vessels that would otherwise carry drug agents harmful to hair follicles. The cancer-fighting drugs are blocked from reaching a person’s hair follicles, yet are free to work throughout the rest of the body to eradicate cancerous cells. This therapy helps prevent or lessen hair loss due to chemotherapy.
Lisa Kellnhauser, ThedaCare Cancer Care cosmetologist, facilitates Chemo Cold Caps therapy for patients. “Patients seek out cold caps for very personal reasons. Some are businesswomen to whom their professional appearance is very important. One woman has a family wedding coming up, and she wants to have hair at the wedding,” she said. “My most recent cold cap patient lost only a bit of hair along her hairline. Her hair color and texture did change, but unless someone knew she was undergoing chemo, I doubt anyone would’ve noticed anything significantly different about her appearance.”
To initiate Chemo Cold Caps therapy, a person’s oncologist first makes a referral to Lisa, and Lisa sends the patient’s particular chemo regimen plan to Chemo Cold Caps for a customized number and type of caps to last throughout treatment. Lisa acts as the person’s cold caps facilitator to help optimize the therapy.
What You Should Know:
- Nearly 70 percent of patients keep nearly all to half of their hair during chemotherapy when they use cold cap therapy. Results vary based on a person’s treatment regimen, age, and other factors.
- Patients should talk to their oncologist about Chemo Cold Caps as soon as their chemotherapy regimen is determined. This is because cold caps, both type and number, are prepared specifically for an individual’s particular chemotherapy plan. The caps are shipped after Chemo Cold Caps receives a patient’s specific treatment information.
- At this time, the FDA has approved the use of cold cap therapy for breast cancer patients only.
- Cold caps should be worn 50 minutes prior to the start of an infusion, throughout the entire infusion, and for at least 3 hours following the completion of infusion.
- The use of cold caps is not yet covered by insurance in the U.S. The cost of one month of cold caps therapy (which includes six caps, related equipment, training and instruction, and an initial supply of dry ice) is approximately $500.
Are you interested in learning more about Chemo Cold Caps? Call Lisa Kellnhauser at 920.364.3660 to ask questions or schedule a consultation at the High Hopes Salon inside ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton.
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves more than 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,800 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose and 34 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke, and cardiac programs and a foundation dedicated to community service. Construction of ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton opened in February. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.