Scalp cooler to prevent chemotherapy hair loss!
Q. Scalp Cooler is being used for- Published on 24 Jan 17
a. Skin diseases
c. Bone regeneration
d. Muscle regeneration
- The Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Parel has started a clinical trial using technology to minimise hair loss due to chemotherapy.
- The initiative, the first such in India, is expected to address the loss of self-esteem and confidence that many cancer patients, especially women, face and reduce cancer-related trauma.
- The process uses a scalp cooling technique to restrict chemotherapy medication from reaching the scalp, thus reducing hair fall.
- The machine has two scalp coolers, which are essentially specialised inner silicon caps containing coolants at temperatures of up to minus 4 degrees centigrade.
- The technique is widely used in the U.K.
- The machine circulates the coolant in the caps, reducing its temperature and consequently blood supply to the scalp.
- As chemotherapy medication is given intravenously and circulated through the blood, the scalp gets less blood and thus less of the medication.
- This reduces damage to hair follicles and preserves hair. But, experts say reduction in hair loss may vary from person to person.
- Chemotherapy medication works best on fast-dividing cells.
- Since cancer cells divide rapidly, the medicines attack those cells, but other cells like those in the blood, mucosal lining and hair follicles also come under attack.
- This is why patients suffer from reduced blood count, mouth ulcers and hair loss during chemotherapy. But of all the side-effects, hair loss has the worst impact on women.
- The most common side-effects of using scalp coolers are headache and cold.