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Cooling cap minimizes hair loss during chemo - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Cooling cap minimizes hair loss during chemo

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DENVER -

"Digni" for dignity-- that's what this bathing cap-like device offers: dignity through a frightening treatment that is out of your control.

"Chemo, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy," Lynn Padgett said.

But chemotherapy is fighting Padgett's breast cancer and she is fighting chemo's side effects.

"I was supposed to be bald my 12th day of treatment," she said.

But five weeks into treatment she's not bald.

"I could choose to keep my hair and it's been very empowering," she said.

Technology at the UC Health Lone Tree Breast Center gave Padgett that choice. It's Dignicap-- computer-controlled scalp cooling. Coolant that never drops below the freezing point circulates through the cap, constricting the blood vessels.

"Then the chemotherapy is not going to those hair follicles and we're actually able to preserve the hair," said Dr. Regina Brown, an oncologist.

Brown knows that's important to patients. For Padgett, it was the one thing she could control.

"I didn't want sad eyes," Padgett said. "I didn't want people going, 'Oh look, something's wrong with her; she doesn't have any hair.'"

Now, at treatment 14, Padgett hasn't kept all of her hair, but thanks to Dignicap she's never lost it all.

"To have hair on my head it just brings a smile to my face every day," she said.

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