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Cancer patients in Central Wisconsin facing chemotherapy now have ways to prevent hair loss

Cancer patients in Central Wisconsin facing chemotherapy now have ways to prevent hair loss

May 14, 2024 12:02 PM CDT
By: Brittney Merlot

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WXCO) – Aspirus Cancer Care in Wausau now offers options that help prevent losing your hair during chemotherapy.

Scalp cooling at Aspirus Cancer Care in Wausau is the first cancer treatment center in central Wisconsin to offer this life-changing service.

Aspirus is proud to be one of the first cancer treatment centers in the nation to include this as a service that is billable to insurance. As currently most cancer care centers offer self-pay only.  

How does it work?

Scalp cooling can reduce the entry of chemotherapy drugs into human keratinocytes – preventing hair loss. A cap, which comes in two sections, is worn before, during, and a brief time after a chemotherapy infusion. The cap is attached to a system which circulates coolant liquid around the inner cap – reducing the temperature of your scalp. Reducing the temperature of the scalp helps protect hair follicles and limits damage caused by the chemotherapy drugs.

Who is a candidate for scalp cooling?

Scalp cooling can be used by adult cancer patients receiving chemotherapy infusions to treat solid tumor cancers. These are most commonly found in the breast, ovaries, cervix, uterus, lung, and prostate.

Not all cancer patients receiving chemotherapy are candidates for scalp cooling, and not all treatments are fully effective in retaining a patient’s hair. Clinicians point out that clinical studies prove that hair will regrow quicker with scalp cooling.

Patients who have used scalp cooling during treatment report that keeping their hair helped them feel a sense of normalcy during a challenging time in their lives. “I knew if I could have control over just this one thing while going through my cancer treatments, it would make me feel so much better – one less thing to worry about,” says Joni, patient at Aspirus Cancer Care.

Patients can discuss their treatment plan, cancer type, risk for losing hair, and likelihood of success of scalp cooling with the patient care team at Aspirus Cancer Care-Wausau to find out if they are a candidate to try the innovative treatment. They may call 715-847-2866.

“Patients so far have been really excited about scalp cooling,” says Summer Verg, Survivorship Coordinator and Clinical Educator at Aspirus Cancer Care.

In addition to board-certified oncologists, Aspirus Cancer Care includes a comprehensive team of experts to compassionately care for cancer patients along their entire treatment journey, including nurse navigators, pharmacists, social workers, dieticians, and more.

To learn more, visit aspirus.org/cancer.

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