Chemo patients offered free hair-loss treatment

| 30/10/2018
CNS Local Life

Health City nurses demonstrate use of DigniCap

(CNS Local Life): Breast cancer and other solid tumour cancer patients will have free access to a treatment new to Cayman aimed at reducing chemotherapy-induced hair loss. Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI) medical oncologist Dr Vineetha Binoy explained that the DigniCap machine, whose use is being offered to patients, is the first automated scalp-cooling system approved by the US FDA to treat such hair loss.

While the machine is available at all major cancer treatment centres in the US, this is the first time it is being used in the Caribbean for patients who would “otherwise have to cope with the devastating effects of hair loss”, an HCCI press release said.

CNS Local Life

Medical oncologist Dr Vineetha Binoy

Dr Binoy explained that scalp cooling works by constricting the blood vessels that supply hair follicles which prevents chemotherapy from reaching and damaging them.

DigniCap replaces a manual cold cap system that Health City used for about two years courtesy of a donation from the Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Foundation. The new machine, which circulates cool air around the scalp while the patient is seated during chemotherapy, does not have to be changed manually every 25 minutes, thereby improving patient comfort significantly, stated HCCI in the press release.

A cancer diagnosis is “often the lowest point in anybody’s life when they have no control over any aspect of what’s happening (regarding) their treatment…cold capping is a personal choice and the option of preserving their hair and not to have a wig or to go bald essentially gives them a sense of control over what’s happening,” said Dr Binoy.

In addition to boosting the patient’s self-esteem, she said “it has been found to help patients cope with chemotherapy better”.

The oncologist cautioned, however, that cold capping “is beneficial only to a select number of patients for certain chemotherapy regimens and cancers. It is not for everybody – it is not a universal solution but is a solution or option for a lot of patients.”

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Category: Medical and Health

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dr.Binoy (oncologist) is a lovely, gracious lady. Thank you and your husband for choosing to work here instead of in the US or Europe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So amazing! Thank you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Amazing, thank you!