Following their successful launch in the UK and elsewhere the Tata Hospital in Parel, Mumbai has announced that they will be trialling scalp cooling caps for chemotherapy patients. They will be the first hospital in India to do so.
Chemotherapy And Hair Loss
The link between chemotherapy and hair loss is well known and well understood. The issue is linked to the very way the drugs used in chemotherapy do their work. They are designed to target the fast replicating cancerous cells but will attack any fast replicating cells… which of course include those in your fingernails and hair, along with mucosal lining and blood cells.
As a consequence hair loss is a predictable outcome for any patient going through chemotherapy. The degree of hair loss is defined by the medical community as falling into three brackets. Grade 0 is where the patient experiences no hair loss, Grade 1 is where the patient loses less than 50% of their hair and Grade 3 is for those losing over 50%
Ambitions For The Trial
Dr Jyoti Bajpai, Associate Professor at the Tata Memorial Hospital’s Department Of Oncology, explained the parameters of their trial. There will be a total of 51 patients involved, a third of whom will not receive scalp cooling. For 34 lucky recipients however the hope is to reduce their hair loss significantly. As Dr. Bajpai explains it “… of all the side-effects, hair loss has the worst effect on women. The fear of cancer becomes secondary and the fact that they will lose their hair during treatment takes centre stage”. She added “Women associate their femininity with their hair. It becomes difficult to explain the hair loss is temporary. Hopefully such women will benefit if our trial is a success. Though the trial we are aiming at 50 to 70% hair preservation. We want to avoid the Grade 2 stage”.
Her ambition is based on the experience of hospitals elsewhere in the world who have seen great results with scalp cooling, which works by simply using refrigeration to slow blood supply to the scalp region during the chemotherapy treatment. Thus reducing exposure for that region to the strong chemicals being delivered via the intravenous delivery of the chemotherapy drugs. To highlight it’s importance Dr Bajpal offered as evidence the story of a recent patient, a 35 year old woman, who declined chemotherapy purely because she did not want to suffer the associated hair loss.
HIS Hair Clinic
We were delighted to read this article from The Hindu Times. It is great to see this important development being made available in India, where the billion strong population, due to cultural demands, mean hair is as or more important to women here as anywhere in the world.
The story struck a chord with us if only because it shows the depth of feeling hair loss can provoke, especially for women. If you want to discuss your hair loss situation in a free consultation with one of our friendly team of experts then simply fill in the contact form at the side of this page, or click here to find your nearest clinic.