Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a life-changing experience because one of the side effects from chemotherapy is hair loss. This is especially difficult for women and many organizations like Locks of Love collect hair donations in order to make wigs for cancer patients. But, this may be a thing of the past because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a cooling cap that helps reduce hair loss in women being treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer.
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The cooling cap is called the DigniCap Cooling System, made by Dignitana Inc., a Swedish company. This is the first device of its kind that is approved by the FDA. It is comprised of two caps, the first uses a computer to circulate a cooled liquid through a cap that is worn during chemotherapy. The second cap is made from neoprene, which covers the cooling cap in order to hold it in place and keep the cold from escaping. The way it works is that it tightens up blood vessels found in the scalp. This reduces the amount of chemo that reaches cells in the hair follicles. The cap decreases the activity of hair follicles, making them less likely to be affected by the chemo.