Argentine woman's affordable chemo cap offers hope by preventing hair loss – Reuters

Former cancer patient Paula Estrada, who created a cold helmet that prevents hair loss during chemotherapy, shows here hair during an interview with Reuters, in Buenos Aires, Argentina June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Matias Baglietto
BUENOS AIRES, Aug 29 (Reuters) – After doctors diagnosed Paula Estrada with breast cancer in 2009, the then 41-year-old Argentine decided she would not only beat the disease, but would do so without losing her long blonde hair to the ravages of chemotherapy.
At her home in Buenos Aires, Estrada, a graphic designer by profession, set about creating a makeshift cooling cap out of ice packs to keep her scalp cold – and ward off hair loss.
It worked, and "nobody realized that I was undergoing chemotherapy," said Estrada, now 54.
Scalp cooling, a way to constrict blood vessels and keep chemotherapy drugs from reaching hair follicles, has existed in some form for decades. The Paxman Scalp Cooling cap, for example, was introduced in Britain in 1997 and earned U.S. FDA approval in 2017.
But in 2009, cooling caps were an unknown in Argentina, Estrada said.
"When I finished, I said 'I'm not going to keep this for myself, I want everyone to have this as a possibility," she recalled.
Estrada's 'Quimo con pelo' cap can be made with gels that cost as little as $2 – a lifesaver in a country facing economic struggles and where alternative cooling caps can cost $100 a session.
On social media, patients in Argentina and around the world share instructions on how to make the caps and donate them when they're finished.
The caps must be used beginning with the first chemo session, kept at -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius), and changed every 30 minutes.
"It's worth it," said Mariangeles Fernandez, a 48-year-old liver cancer patient. "It lets you fight the disease in a different way."
Estrada, who is now writing a book about her experience, says she hears from patients every day whose cancer journeys have been improved by the caps.
"I think the (cap) has been the key to my state of mind," said Elsa Ram, a 64-year-old retiree with breast cancer. "This is a big part of a good treatment."
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The White House said it will hold a summit aimed to address issues around U.S. hunger, nutrition and health on Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Access unmatched financial data, news and content in a highly-customised workflow experience on desktop, web and mobile.
Browse an unrivalled portfolio of real-time and historical market data and insights from worldwide sources and experts.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2022 Reuters. All rights reserved


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.