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Norwalk Hospital Using Cold Cap Therapy to Prevent or Reduce Hair Loss for Chemotherapy Patients

Richard Zelkowitz, M.D.
Cold cap

Cancer.  Chemotherapy.  Most people hear these words and are filled with a variety of emotions and images. One image that comes to mind is women with bald heads, wearing turbans. For the past few years, Norwalk Hospital’s Smilow Family Breast Health Program has been supporting women’s experiences using Cold Cap therapy to prevent or reduce hair loss associated with some chemotherapy regimens. We are proud to say we have the most experience in Connecticut using this therapy.

Cold Cap therapy is not new. In fact, it was first introduced over two decades ago, but there was some concern in the medical community that by reducing the amount of chemotherapy that reached the skin on the scalp, that it could cause scalp metastasis, or the spread of cancer to the scalp. Since that time, this has been proven not to be the case. Just last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared and approved Cold Cap therapy to reduce hair loss in women receiving taxane or anthracycline chemotherapy regimens. 

Our partnerships with community organizations, such as Pink Aid, have also enabled us to offer this therapy for women who cannot afford it on their own. As always, our goal as a cancer program is to ensure people have as many resources as possible to get through a tough period in their lives.