Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2013 Oct;17(5):536-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2013.02.004. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Impact of scalp cooling on chemotherapy-induced alopecia, wig use and hair growth of patients with cancer.

Author information

1
Research Department, Comprehensive Cancer Centre South, PO Box 231, 5600 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Department of Clinical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Centre, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address: C.vd.hurk@ikz.nl.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Cytotoxic therapy for patients with cancer frequently induces reversible, but long-lasting alopecia which might be prevented by scalp cooling. This study evaluates the effectiveness of scalp cooling with respect to the severity of chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) and the purchase and use of wigs and head covers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

In this observational study, scalp-cooled patients (n = 160) were compared with non scalp-cooled patients (n = 86) with several types of cancer. Patients were enrolled in 15, mostly general hospitals prior to taxane and/or anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Patients completed four questionnaires between the start and one year after the last chemotherapy.

RESULTS:

Severity of CIA, and purchasing and actually wearing wigs and head covers were significantly lower among scalp-cooled than non scalp-cooled patients. Overall, scalp cooling reduced the use of wigs and head covers by 40%. Among 84 scalp-cooled patients who purchased a wig (53%), only 52 patients actually wore it (62%), and they just wore it intensively (86% daily) for less than six months (80%). Especially young patients camouflaged CIA with a head cover instead of a wig.

DISCUSSION:

The relatively long duration of CIA, the wish of many patients to camouflage or rather prevent it and the 40% reduction for head covering by scalp cooling, makes it a worthwhile supportive intervention. However, (cost-) effectiveness can be improved. Many scalp-cooled patients purchased a wig unnecessarily.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Chemotherapy-induced alopecia; Hair growth; Hair loss; Scalp cooling; Wig

PMID:
23571182
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejon.2013.02.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center