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New Cap Allows Chemo Patients to Keep Their Natural Hair

A not-so-new dew device, dubbed the DigniCap, is a refrigerated cap that use worn during chemo therapy that prevents the chemo treatment from killing hair follicles, thus allowing the patients natural hair to remain healthy.
It would seem that a device like this would have been groundbreaking and legendary instantly worldwide, however, this technology has existed in Europe for two and a half decades, since 1999, and has not been used in the United States. 

However, this could soon change; researchers in North Carolina, New York and California are all testing the DigniCap with hopes that this device could be implemented and available in the states by 2015.

This cap works under fairly basic concepts, and also operates similarly simply. Essentially, the device is a cold-cap. The DigniCap remains at room temperature while it is snuggly placed upon the patients head 30 minutes prior to the chemo treatment. When treatment begins, the caps internal coils that are connected to a refrigeration unit begin cooling the cap down to a chilly 37 degrees. The cap is kept on and at this temperate for the entire treatment, as well as an additional 1-2 hours after the treatment. 

The purpose of this treatment is simple: The colder temperatures constrict the blood vessels the in scalp, which impedes the chemo from reaching and then killing the cells within the hair follicles. 

Allowing cancer patients to keep their natural hair is revolutionary and is pricelessly improves their personal psyche. Having the ability to appear healthy to the outside world is more empowering than many other cancer treatments. Not only do strangers not have to instantly know that you are a cancer patient, but your children and family will not have to go through the trauma of looking at you appearing ill. And most importantly, you yourself will not have that gruesome reminder of your illness every time you look in the mirror. 

Sources: NY Daily News

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