Cap helps prevent patient’s loss of hair in cancer treatment
For the cancer victim, the road to remission is almost always a painful and frightening one. There is a measure of nausea to deal with, as induced by both radiation and chemotheropy. There are the backaches and headaches that often accompany necessary spinal taps and bone marrow tests.
But perhaps the most painful facet of treatment for the chemotherapy patient is the humiliation that accompanies loss of hair. Unlike nausea or other aches and pains, this blow to one’s vanity often can last several months.
Mark Bowen (Barron) of Bel Air thinks he has devised a solution to the problem, saving many cancer victims from needless hair loss. Bowen calls his device the ‘Chemo Cap.’
The Chemo Cap, only sold to doctors and hospitals, uses the newly discovered process of scalp hypothermia to prevent baldness in many users of the cancer drug adriamycin. The technology involves freezing the scalp and deceasing the blood flow to areas of hair growth during administration of the drug.
Researchers at the Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson reported ‘remarkable success’ with the technique in their report to the American Society of Clinical Oncology in May. The Arizona researchers say they achieved at least some hair retention in 88 percent of the patients tested.
Barron claims he was working on his Chemo Cap long before that report published, however, Barron says he devised the technique for a woman he knew with breast cancer.
The Chemo Cap invention was published in the medical journal The Lancet documenting the technique and the invention.
Today, products similar to Barron’s Chemo Cap (now marketed and sold under names such as DigniCap and Penguin Cold Caps) have achieved more widespread adoption and shown success rates of 80 to 90 percent with certain chemotherapy regimens. For more information, please view the Wikipedia entry on hypothermia caps, as well as recent Los Angeles Times and Washington Post articles, by clicking the links above.