Efficacy of Scalp Cooling in the Prevention of Chemotherapy Induced Alopecia Among Breast Cancer Patients
Keywords:Scalp cooling, Alopecia, Hair loss, Chemotherapy, Quality of life
Alopecia refers to hair loss, which is a common side-effect of chemotherapy regimens for cancer. Anthracyclines and taxanes are the common anticancer drugs prescribed within chemotherapy that result in significant alopecia. Scalp cooling is identified to be an effective method that prevents chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) in patients. This method has been present since 1974; however, novel technologies have enhanced the efficacy via modern scalp-cooling devices. By maintaining a low scalp temperature, vasoconstriction aids in the reduced absorption of anticancer drugs into the bloodstream, which reduces intrafollicular metabolism. Randomized controlled trials conducted recently found statistically significant results, evidencing the hair preservation and hair regrowth abilities yielded via scalp cooling. These results attracted the attention of researchers due to the treatment success and the patient safety aspect of the process. Extensive scientific research reveals that alopecia affects the perceptions of patients regarding their body image and lowers their self-esteem significantly. Furthermore, the quality of life of alopecia patients is reduced due to public stigmatization. The effectiveness of scalp cooling in preventing CIA is of high significance as it can help improve patient outcomes of patients undergoing chemotherapy and their mental well-being.
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