Unite Providing Cooling Caps for Chemotherapy Treatments

Written by Lindsey Morris

Hair loss can be a difficult side effect to navigate for cancer patients. It affects a person emotionally and mentally as they are dealing with a change of their outward appearance while undergoing a serious health battle.  

“Hair loss during chemotherapy can cause patients to feel vulnerable and self-conscious,” says Andrea Rhoden, a Breast Oncology Nurse Navigator at the Georgia Cancer Center.  

Emotional well-being is an important factor to your physical health, as poor emotional health can lead to higher blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and other health issues that can become quite serious for cancer patients.  

Rhoden saw a need for a way to prevent hair loss and immediately thought of cooling caps.  

Cold scalp cooling caps are caps that patients wear before and after chemotherapy that can help prevent hair loss by reducing the damage that chemotherapy causes to hair follicles. They work by cooling the blood vessels in the scalp, reducing blood flow to hair follicles, which restricts the amount of chemotherapy medication that enters hair follicle cells.  

While this device cannot reduce hair loss by 100% for all patients, patients can see a hair loss reduction of about 50% when using the cooling cap throughout the treatment journey. 

These devices can be costly, so Rhoden and her collaborator Alicia Arnold, MD, submitted their program Cooler Heads for Helping Hair Loss During Chemotherapy to receive funding from Unite in the Fight Against Cancer 2023.  

Unite in the Fight Against Cancer is a one mile walk that celebrates and honors all who have been affected by this disease, while raising funds for patient centered programs. 

Their program received funding from Unite 2023, along with six other programs, and will cover the costs for two machines and supplies needed to use them.  

“I’m so excited for this opportunity,” says Rhoden.  

If you would like to learn more about this program, follow us on Facebook to be kept up to date on it and the other programs funded by Unite in the Fight Against Cancer. Unite in the Fight Against Cancer will be held on May 4th 2024. You can find more information by visiting our website and Facebook event page. We encourage all to join us in the fight against cancer.