Treatment for Alopecia
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?
James P. Stevenson, MD Section Editor for the OncoLink Medical Oncology/Chemotherapy Menu, responds:
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.
OncoLink is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through OncoLink should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem or have questions or concerns about the medication that you have been prescribed, you should consult your health care provider.
Information Provided By: www.oncolink.org | © 2016 Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania