The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


August 19, 2013

Looking for a home

Salon owner seeks to make cold cap therapy available to chemo patients


Sandra Crawley, director of St. Vincent Anderson Cancer Center and Clinical Research Department, said, "Our medical oncologists have reviewed the Penguin Cap information and the local initiative. Our physicians cannot recommend to their patients the Penguin Cap therapy supported by the Rapunzel Project.

"The few clinical studies that have been conducted do not support a clear benefit that outweighs the potential risks, such as metastasis of the scalp and frostbite. One of our medical oncologists worked with Cold Caps at another hospital. He found that the therapy was not reliable in preventing hair loss and was not comfortable for the patients.... As with all emerging technologies, we will continue to study and closely monitor the risks and benefits of and alternatives to cold cap therapy," she said.

“We haven’t had a single clinic complaint,” said Rapunzel Project's Marshall. She noted that problem areas she’s heard about mainly involve lessened effectiveness. Persons with very thick hair fall into that class. She has also heard of occasional instances of fever or dehydration. “Hydration is critical.”

While she waits to find a home for the freezer, Medusa’s Leons-Parnell expresses frustration.

“I’ve been a hair stylist for 30 years,” said Leons-Parnell. She noted that every hairdresser in town has had to deal with a client that suffered hair loss from chemotherapy. “It’s devastating…. People need to know they have an option.”

Like Nancy Elliott on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @ NancyElliott_HB, or call 640-4805.


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    When a patient loses hair as a result of chemotherapy, for many, the ramifications are much deeper. That’s where an alternative therapy known as the cold cap comes in, and local hair stylist Stacie Leons-Parnell is on a mission to make sure it’s available to those who want it.

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