Grant supports cold cap therapy at Norwalk Hospital

Cold therapy helps reduce hair and nail loss due to chemotherapy treatment

Norwalk Hospital has received a $36,032 grant from Pink Aid, a charitable organization that funds breast cancer services for women in need. The grant enables 30 eligible breast cancer patients to receive cold cap therapy or cold therapy mittens and slippers, treatment not typically covered by insurance.

Studies indicate that cold cap therapy helps alleviate hair loss, and cold therapy mittens and slippers help reduce nail loss.

Breast cancer patients undergoing a taxane-based chemotherapy regimen wear soft, gel-filled caps (cold caps) that are chilled to a temperature of between -30C and -32C degrees in a biomedical freezer. The cold caps, which are worn before, during and after chemotherapy treatment, cool the scalp so hair capillaries become temporarily dormant and do not absorb chemotherapeutic drugs.

In 2014, a cold cap therapy pilot program for breast cancer patients was implemented at Norwalk Hospital under the direction of Dr. Richard Zelkowitz, medical director of the Smilow Breast Health Center and chief of Hematology/Oncology at Norwalk Hospital.  Since then, more than 25 patients have participated in the program, with 80-100% of patients achieving favorable outcomes in hair preservation, depending on their prescribed chemotherapy drug protocol.

For more information about the cold cap therapy program at Norwalk Hospital, call 203-852-2300.

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