Mercy's Dr. David Riseberg Discusses Cooling Technology for Reducing Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss
Terri Buckler has a full, thick head of hair. You'd never know she's a breast cancer survivor. Even when she was going through chemo, hair loss never gave her away.
"It never thinned to the point where I felt the need to put a scarf on my head to go out. As I finished my treatments the end of May, as you can see, my hair has come back in and filled in, and I think it's great," Buckler said.
Buckler was able to avoid losing her hair by using the Paxman Scalp Cooling System.
"Basically, we are cooling the scalp and reducing the flow of blood and chemo there and reducing the exposure, and subsequently reducing hair loss," said Dr. David Riseberg, Chief of Medical Oncology and Hematology at Mercy Medical Center.
Patients wear the device a little before, during and then a short time after chemo treatments.
"The inner cap contains the gel that gets cold," Buckler said. "This goes on first. And you want to get it down as tight as you can, and then this cap goes on top of it."
She said at first the extreme cold is a little uncomfortable, but you get used to it.
"This device initially was studied in breast cancer patients only. But subsequently, they have data using it in other cancers, so really, any solid-tumor cancer. But there are certain chemotherapy drugs that it seems to work better for and some it doesn't work as well," Dr. Riseberg said.
Buckler is thankful it worked for her and recommends it to other breast cancer patients who are concerned about privacy.
"I just kind of figured it was nobody else's business but my own. And my having the Paxman and keeping my hair, nobody knew unless I chose to tell them," she said.
View Mercy medical oncologist Dr. David Riseberg’s interview regarding the cooling cap for chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.