• has anyone successfully used a penguin cold cap during chemo treatment to prevent hair loss?

    Asked by Cynthia on Friday, April 6, 2012

    has anyone successfully used a penguin cold cap during chemo treatment to prevent hair loss?

    and what is the current info as to whether use of the cap leads to scalps mets?

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac (Best Answer!)

      Actually, hair loss is not a function of chemo killing cells (cells don't kill chemo, chemo kills cells), nor does it have to do with the similarity of of breast, hair, or other cells, other than how rapidly they divide, or the type of cancer you have.

      Whether you lose you hair or not depends on the chemo drugs you use. Many of them are used to kill rapidly dividing cells, whether they are cancer cells, skin cells, hair cells, or blood cells. So if your treatment includes one or more of those drugs, you will lose hair.

      Freezing your head will not cause mets, but it could inhibit the ability of your chemo therapy to kill existing cancer cells.

      IMO, temporary hair loss is no big deal. It's a lot easier and safer to just let the hair go. You will have plenty of other things to deal with during chemo and worrying about hair loss just isn't worth the energy it takes.

      over 4 years ago
    • Charlieb's Avatar

      My spouse and I agreed up front, the minute I started loosing my hair I was just going to cut it off. In my opinion, you would do much better to just accept hair loss and not try anything to prevent it. I know that is not what you asked, but chemo is hard enough and there are other side effects you will need to deal with, like eating, that you just can't control. Attitude will get you through this more than keeping your hair. Again, just my opinion with the understanding you weren't asking.

      over 4 years ago
    • Keephopealive's Avatar

      I got so excited when I read about that cap. I have lost my hair twice due to chemo was just growing in again and have to do some more...but I lost it before i investigated the cap. Was unsure anyway, snake oil?
      But my hair, which was already thick, grew in thicker as did my eyelashes. so I have that to look forward to and the meantime, wigs.

      over 4 years ago
    • danellsar's Avatar

      A friend used it and was not impressed. She actually had to stop early into her chemo because of cold sensitivity. She said the penguin cap became painful due to the chemo.

      My husband is taking megestrol (megase) for appetite, but it's a BC chemo drug. It made him lose all his hair, though he WAS able to eat more. They cut his dose in half, and his hair has started regrowing.

      over 4 years ago
    • Cynthia's Avatar

      Thank you for your honest responses. I have decided not to try the penguin cold caps. I agree that hair grows back and what is most important is to have a positive attitude, get through the treatment and live a healthy cancer free life!

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      I am pretty sure that the first post was referring to the fact that chemotherapy kills cells - i.e., it's the result of chemo killing cells not cells that kill chemo... Interesting read on that phrase, actually. I love grammar. Both interpretations are correct from the standpoint of grammar.

      I have heard that the cold caps can slow down hair loss but not prevent it. I have never heard of mets resulting from using the caps.

      I cut off my middle-of-my-back-length hair before chemo started... Got a faux hawk - that was fun.... Then, I buzz cut it shortly before chemo started... When the first bits started falling out, I found myself unable to leave my head alone. I kept pulling tufts out. So, I buzz cut it again, but I did it without a guard. No regrets. The brown hair fell out before the grey hair, and that makes sense because the brown hair is faster growing hair....

      Unfortunately, it seems that I have had a mass conversion of brown producing follicles to grey producing follicles as a result of chemo. Sigh.... Not uncommon.

      On the upside - I LOVE SHORT HAIR, and I doubt I'll ever go long again.

      Good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • Charlieb's Avatar

      When I started chemo I was attempting to grow a pony tail so I was in no hurry to cut my hair. I was fortunate my grey hairs started falling out first and my hair thinned. First I cut it (stylishly) short until it really started falling out, then I too did the buzz cut. People now like running their hands through my............. On top of my head. I love the new look and will not go back to long hair either. Was happy to hear Cynthia was not going to try a prevent hair loss, you just never know.

      over 4 years ago
    • Cynthia's Avatar

      I have cut my hair chin length and now plan to cut it shorter pre-chemo so I get used to having less hair, (maybe a buzz cut to follow) and then none. No use holding on. Gotta let it go.

      over 4 years ago
    • CancerHAWK's Avatar
      over 4 years ago
    • Cynthia's Avatar

      Thanks so much. I think I will not use the cold caps but it is good to know there are alternatives.

      over 4 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      Cynthia, With all the above said, good plan to just plan on losing the hair. But my advice is to take charge of it. Decide if you can donate your hair to a charitable cause and feel good about it, or cut it short just to see what it will look like later. I ended up with 6 wigs, lots of caps, hats, and scarves, and finally, when it got hot, I went bald and "owned it". If people didn't want to look at me, that was their problem, and if they did, so what! It took more courage than I ever thought I had. Losing my long hair was almost more traumatic than losing 2 breasts, but knowing my hair was going to a good cause (Locks of Love) made me feel good. And my hair grew back thick, curly and dark brown. Life gives us many surprises. I did cry for a month about losing my hair, so I know how traumatic it can be. My thoughts are with you!

      over 4 years ago
    • shadow2356's Avatar

      I used the Penguin Cold Caps. They were awesome and I kept all my (head) hair. My chemo was taxotere and carboplatin. I also had herceprin. I had 6 TCH treatments. I was totally thrilled with the caps. The ability to have some control over your destiny is great. I also think that not looking like a cancer patient, even if you are one, is very beneficial.

      To the people who say that the hair loss is temporary, that is not necessarilly true. Taxotere is known to cause permanent hair loss in a small percentage of people. You have no way of knowing you are in that group until it does not come back.

      I was skeptical before I tried it but it worked great.

      I documented the whole process on my blog. The start of the chemo was 12/7/09.

      It is:

      Good luck to anyone fighting this fight!!

      over 4 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      Do you know what Hair loss means??? it means let the healing begin! You are one step away from a new cancer free life. Wear your baldness proud just keep a good spf on that shinny head. Hair is sooooooooooooooooo over rated. you are no less a woman with or with out hair with or with out breast with or with out. Society put way to darn much pressure on us woman to look perfect at all times I said kiss my shinny rear to them . once the hair is gone it opens up a new door for you so ENJOY it stop and fill a rain drop on your head fill sun shine ahhhhh enjoy the wonder of it

      over 4 years ago
    • Breastcancer50's Avatar

      I have breast cancer. I'm going through chemotherapy now. I AM taking control of my cancer. And yes I'm using cold cap therapy. I still have my hair. I honestly don't feel like I have cancer. I even have people say your cancer must not be that bad,You don't look sick. And that makes me feel very good. The reason I don't look sick is beacuse I have my hair. People relate hair loss to you must have cancer. I don't want everyone feeling sorry for me.If i lost my hair it would remind me all of the time that I'm fighting cancer. Believe me, I have been through the ringer. After my first chemo I got two infection and shingles. But not loosing my hair gave me the power to get through it with a positive attitude. Believe me I do not take breast cancer lightly. My Mom recently passed away from breast cancer. And my sister is in the process of finding out if she has breast cancer due to a recent lump she found in her breast. It's not about vanity. Saving your hair is a choice.
      I want everyone to know you have a choice.

      about 1 year ago

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