Patient experience with scalp cooling during chemotherapy

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During the visit, the nurse noted Ms. X could not keep her hands out of her hair; she continually played with it. The nurse, judging by Ms. X’s body language, suspected she valued her hair” Weatherby and Brophy (2019).

Abstract:

CASE STUDY: Ms. X is a 23-year-old female who presented to clinic with stage 2A endometrial cancer of the ovary. At her first visit, Ms. X was prescribed paclitaxel and carboplatin on day 1 for 6 cycles. During the visit, the nurse noted Ms. X could not keep her hands out of her hair; she continually played with it. The nurse, judging by Ms. X’s body language, suspected she valued her hair. Ms. X revealed she had been doing some research and wanted to use a cold cap to try and prevent alopecia during her treatment. On the first day of chemotherapy, Ms. X came to the clinic with her mother. They brought a manual cap for scalp cooling and a cooler of dry ice. Her mother was to serve as a “capper” and change the cap at 20- to 30-minute intervals during treatment to keep her scalp cool. Ms. X was made comfortable in an infusion bed, and the cap was applied 30 minutes prior to the start of therapy. Ms. X’s mother changed the dry ice caps every 20 minutes throughout the infusion. Ms. X then left it on for 90 minutes following her chemotherapy. After 6 cycles of chemotherapy, Ms. X still had all her hair. She appeared to have retained 100% of her hair, although she estimates that she lost about 5% of her hair. During therapy, she followed the instructions outlined in Table 1. Ms. X reported that she rented the cap for $500 per month and paid $45 per week for the dry ice. Her mother also had to miss work to be the “capper,” and this added to the out-of-pocket costs of scalp cooling.

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Reference:
Weatherby, L. and Brophy, L. (2019) Scalp Cooling: A Patient’s Experience. Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology. 10(2), p.158-165.

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