The common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments pose challenges for most patients. Hair loss is one of the top concerns, but a device currently in clinical trials is offering hope and is part of an increased focus on creating a holistic approach to cancer treatment that considers all the health needs of patients.
The DigniCap System cools the scalp during chemotherapy transfusions, causing the contraction of blood vessels surrounding hair follicles, preventing most of the toxins from entering the follicles. That, in turn, minimizes hair loss. A CBS News story about the system reported that the system’s manufacturer hopes to get FDA approval in 2015.
Hair loss, or course, is not the most significant concern for someone trying to beat cancer, but any device that can help patients maintain some normalcy amid a time of physical and emotional turmoil is beneficial. That’s one of the reasons the EuroMed Foundation emphasizes holistic treatment at our cancer center.
Our physicians create customized treatment plans for patients designed to optimize their health even as they are being treated. This includes both their physical and mental health, both of which are critical to successfully overcoming cancer and staying healthy in the future. If a patient’s self-esteem is boosted by preventing hair loss during chemotherapy, that will help that patient stay positive during difficult treatments and enhance the chances of success.
By combining complementary therapies with cancer treatment, we can help eliminate some of the negative effects of that treatment and enhance a patient’s quality of life.