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Breast Cancer Awareness: Cold Cap Therapy

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(KUTV) Cold Cap Therapy is being used by patients to increase chances of keeping most of their hair during chemo and radiation treatment. It involves the use of a special cap, cooled to a very cold temperature and worn for a number of hours before, during and after each treatment. The extreme cold constricts the blood vessels leading to the hair follicles, limiting the amount of chemo that reach the follicles which then preserves the patient's hair. The process has been used in Europe for more than 20 years and is increasing in the United States.

Survivor Mary Chamberlain visited Fresh Living to talk about her experience with Cold Cap Therapy.

Mary was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) at age 36 in January of 2015. Her genetics test came back negative for the BRCA gene, so she was able to elect lumpectomy surgery over a double mastectomy. On March 9th, 2015, Mary had a lymph node dissection and lumpectomy, but without get clear margins, she endured a second lumpectomy on March 23rd. In the process, she wanted to preserve her fertility options and underwent 2 fertility cycles and egg retrievals prior to the lumpectomy surgeries. The LiveStrong Foundation has a chapter dedicated to preserving young women's fertility called Fertile Hope. They donated the fertility drugs, which are typically thousands of dollars, and they offered a steep discount for the fertility treatment itself. Any young woman that is diagnosed with breast cancer should inquire about fertility preservation, as it can be jeopardized by chemotherapy.

Mary began 12 weeks of chemotherapy April 14, 2015. She used Penguin Cold Cap therapy treatment to prevent complete hair loss. Although she did lose a great deal of hair, she was able to keep a lot of it and a stranger would never know the difference. On July 20, she began 20 sessions of radiation and completed that treatment August 14th.

For more information regarding Cold Cap Therapy, visit the following websites: rapunzelproject.org / penguincoldcaps.com / chemocoldcaps.com

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