Treatment for Alopecia

James P. Stevenson
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Share article


Question
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
The literature is full of abstracts related to various forms of scalpcooling to prevent or minimize alopecia during chemotherapy. None of myoncologists seem interested in this.

Can you provide any up-to-date info on this?  
Thanks,
F.D.


Answer
James P. Stevenson, MD Section Editor for the OncoLink Medical Oncology/Chemotherapy Menu, responds:

Dear F.D.,
Thank you for your interest and question.

There are various methods to decrease blood flow to the scalp in an effort to prevent hair loss (alopecia) during chemotherapy, including everything from patients tying homemade tourniquets around their heads to placing icepacks in this area. There are also companies that produce reusable ice "rings" for the same purpose.

However, the effect of such devices on the development of metastases to the scalp and central nervous system is unkown but theoretically could be detrimental. Therefore, we do not recommend the use of such methods to patients.


News
Prostate Cancer Treatment Side Effects Explored

Apr 20, 2014 - The treatments for localized prostate cancer -- prostatectomy, brachytherapy, and external radiation -- have varied side effect profiles, and these should be taken into consideration in the selection of a treatment, according to a study published online June 9 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.



I Wish You Knew

Nutrition During Cancer Treatment

View More



Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.




OncoLink OncoPilot

Facing a new cancer diagnosis or changing the course of your current treatment? Let our cancer nurses help you through!

Learn More