For Immediate Release: For More Information, Contact:
9/13/2022 CHI St. Alexius Health Williston Foundation
CHI St. Alexius Health to offer Scalp Cooling Treatments to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy.
Williston, ND - CHI St. Alexius Health is offering cancer patients a new technology designed to reduce hair loss. It’s called scalp cooling, and it involves wearing a cooling cap while receiving chemotherapy treatments.
The cap cools the scalp to between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, which reduces blood flow to the area by around 40%, so less blood containing chemotherapy reaches hair follicles. The cooling also causes hair follicle cells to go dormant, which interferes with how chemo interacts with hair follicles.
“Treating the whole person - body, mind and spirit - is so important. That’s why we are eager to offer this option to our cancer patients,” said Marti Volz, Director of Ancillary Services.
For the treatments, the patient wears a cooling cap while receiving chemotherapy. Wearing the cap can feel like an “ice cream headache” for the first 15 minutes, but most patients acclimate in the same way you get used to the temperature of a cold pool. The state-of-the-art treatment is not yet covered by insurance companies, so the Foundation has stepped forward to offset some of these costs to patients.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Jane Nelson Family, CHI St. Alexius Health Foundation has approved $10,000, to help offset the financial burden of treatments,” said Dubi Cummings, director of Marketing and Foundation. “Everyone can relate to how the way we look affects the way we feel,” Cummings said. “This is just one more way we can aid in the healing process for our patients.”
Results vary with the type of chemotherapy, but overall 50% or more of a person’s hair may be retained. Wearing the cooling cap also improves hair regrowth by protecting the follicle, which helps hair regrow more quickly after treatment.