Breast cancer for the under-50s

Breast cancer is far less common in the under-50s, but this can leave younger people with a diagnosis feeling isolated. This group is a place for them to come together, share experiences and support each other.

cold cap

Posted by

Has any one used this and did it work?  One of the worries of chemo is losing my hair, as I have really curly frizzy hair, which takes ages to grow.  Losing eyebrows and eyelashes also makes me feel sad.. I spoke to one lady who used a cold cap to stop the hair falling out, but it gave her really bad headaches. 

Also, I have a real fear of nausea, when they say that this can be controlled, do they really mean it?

Love to you all  xxxxx

Posted by

Hi  What chemo are you having? EC is the the toughest one for keeping hair. The taxanes are about 80%+ effective.

I've done it through 4 EC so far, and so far have no bald parches on top, but my hair has thinned significantly. I have to say that out unit there are 2 machines, and the first and fourth time I had the same one, and the second and third the same one. On the first I probably lost about 40% of my hair, but was fine. This (fourth) time on the same machine I've lost a lot. It didn't feel very cold either time so suspect it was a fault on that machine, which I'll question next Monday. On the fourth time the helmet which freezes was cold at the bottom not frozen, so please check each session. On the second and third time it was really cold (painful almost!) for about 10 minutes and then fine. I hardly lost any hair despite it being EC those times.  Other points

Take painkillers before leaving the house so that they've kicked, or if you are having premeds an hour before chemo then take them as you arrive at the hospital. They help!

You should have a paraben-free conditioner with you for the top of your head and wide toothed comb. Make sure that all your hair which will be under the cap is wet but not soaking.

It's on 30 minutes before chemo, and depending on the drugs, 45 -90 minutes after.

You can go to the toilet! Not in the first 30 minutes or they start again with the 30 minutes, but after the first chemo is done it's fine. You've 10 minutes to get plugged in again before it starts to get warm.

I don't need a blanket, though they always give me one, but everyone is different

If you have Facebook there's a Paxman group

Any other questions, please ask and I'll try to answer.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up.' Stephen Hawking,
Posted by

Hi Sukki17,

i have recently finished 8 cycles of chemo using the cold cap each time and I still have a full head if hair its just abit thinner, lost my eyelashes and brows but my main worry was losing my head of hair, Like someone has already mentioned take painkillers prior to cold cap and what I did which may or may ot help you isI took my ipad and got jy ear phones in and listened to my favourite music for the first 15 mins of the cold cap and it got me through every time. As for feeling sick the tablets i were given did work and I used my own gut feeling as to how and when I had them initially I took them as a precaution as there is nothing worse than feeling sick then once I got into a routine with the treatment each month logging everything to look back on I got the hang of it and got through it.

wishing you well and just take a day at a time and try not to search or wait for symptoms just try and maintain a positive attitude and do things you enjoy!



Posted by

My oncologist told me Docetaxel can cause total hair loss, I asked the nurse the first time I had Docetaxel and she read out the side effects and top of the list was Alopecia.

I think all the side effects are different for anyone.

Wishing you lots of luck of it x

Posted by

Docetaxel causes permanent hair loss in about 10% of women, but using the cold cap protects the roots, so is worth doing . Paxmann machines are also very effective with the taxanes, but struggles a bit with EC.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up.' Stephen Hawking,