I was advised not to use the cold cap and from 3 people I have met in the flesh who used it they all lost their hair so I suppose everyone is different.
I did not use it as I was advised not to and at the time (nearly a year ago) the thing that I was most worried about was loosing my hair but if you do decide to use the cold cap and it works then great but if it doesnt work I just want to let you know that loosing your hair is not so bad and this is coming from a person who has had long blonde hair all her life. Having long blonde hair was my thing, it was what I was known for, I was terrifed about loosing my hair.
I finised 4 x fec and 4 x tax 5 months ago and my once blonde hair is growing in black and I have about an inch of growth.
All the best to you whatever you decide.
there seem to be lots of examples of where the CC has helped us to keep our hair. However, for a % of women it doesn't work. Before treatment I had thick, ginger hair and I was worried that if I did lose it then it might not come back ginger. I used the CC for my first 2 cycles of FEC100 and echo the comments about the first 10 minutes being the toughest. However, on day 2 of cycle 2 I lost all the hair off the top of my head but retained it at the sides - it just didn't work for me. I was very distressed when the hair came out as I really hadn't expected it to come out because of using the CC. So, I'm not saying expect the worst but do try and pepare yourself for some hairloss.
I finished my chemo at the end of October 2012 and now have about 1 cm of growth all over - thicker at the sides than on top. It is ginger! When I had no hair I did eventually get used to it and went scarf and wig free in front of close friends and family.
So, I would say, Go for it! You have nothing to lose in trying the CC and hopefully a decent covering of your own hair throughout treatment to gain.
I've had 5 out of 6 FEC and am using the old cap. Still have a full covering of hair although there has been a lot of shedding. I make sure I use organic shampoos and conditioners which do not contain SLS's or parabens and only wash my hair about every 5 or six days and then very gently. I let it dry naturally and try not to mess about with it too much. As far as time of wearing the cold cap is concerned my chemo nurse showed me the instructions that come with the caps and apparently the time for wearing the cap before and after chemo is dependent on the type of chemo you have and the strength of that particular dose. For instance FEC75 takes slightly less time than FEC100 and FEC-T will be different again etc. I certainly don't regret using the cap. Still have one FEC to go but don't look like a cancer patient. I'm a private sort of person and have only told my immediate family and 3 close girl friends whom I trust about my conditon. This is the way I deal with things and I'm getting through it better mainly because I still look like me. Just my way - wouldn't work for everyone.
I have had 6 FEC and am now 6 weeks from the last dose. I shed hair throughout but although it thinned a fair bit I had enough to never need wigs, hats or haribands. It is still shedding which is annoying as I thought it would have stopped by now but the new hair is coming through so it looks a lot thicker on the scalp than it did. It isn't in gret condition and as dying it is out for the time being, I am faced with more grey than I realised I had but you do get used to not having beautifully washed and styled hair.
As Maggie says, wash once a week with PH neutral shampoo, comb once a day and to add another bit of advice, buy a silk pillowcase as it stops your hair pulling at night.
The cold cap does get increasingly more painful as your hair thins but as others have said as long as you can grin and bear the first 15 mins it is bearable. As others have said, take paracetamol beforehand.
Hi I'm currently using cold cap, would suggest that you get your hair cut as short as you dare. Mine short back and sides is evenly thinning, not losing clumps, just regular loss. I wash once a week, I comb once a week, I use an organic shampoo and condition and pat dry, sometimes dry off with warm hair dryer... Defo worth a go, and if it's short you are not traumatised with the hair loss... honest.....
No one has noticed my hair loss, as it seems to be the fine hair underneath that goes first, so the top layers are still giving me complete coverage.... Cold cap a doddle the first time, 2nd time uncomfortable for 15 mins then you don't notice.... I also take two pain killers before hand, that helps...
Good luck x
I used it for 6 x FEC-T. I lost hair throughout, so don't give up just cos hair is coming out. It's surprising how much hair you actually have. As Broomstick lady says - make sure it fits tightly as, otherwise, you are wasting your time. Be aware that some nurses will be negative about it because it takes more of their time and effort. I only ever needed a wide headband to cover up the thinnest bits, and my hair thickened up and looked "normal" at the end at about twice the rate of those who went bald. It was definitly worth it at the end.
I cold capped and will again if it comes to it. Tho it was hell on earth and made each session longer I'd still do it again - I didn't keep all my hair which is very thin and fine anyway but I had a good enough cover that I never wore my wig but did sometimes use a cap thing I got from ebay as a Hijab which was jewelled and really pretty.
Using it - it has to be tight - thats the first thing - not tight then it won't work - I think that was one of my problems - one session it wasn't on properly. They smother your head with conditioner before applying it, and then once it's cold enuf they put it on. The fiorst 20 minutes is worst - survive that and you're OK. We had a reflexologist on the chemo ward - they now have 2 - who sat with me telling me 'just another minute for me' until that crucial 20 minutes of hell was over and I got thru it. My language of 'take it off' with added expletives was the worst I've ever used - I'm not lying - it was hard but worth it.
Extra time seems to vary nurse to nurse - about 30 mins to 1 hour before chemo starts which isn't too bad cos often the chemo is late onto the ward anyway - this seems to be standard across chemo wards - and 90 - 120 minutes after.
If you're FEC Ting, they say if your hair survives the FEC you'll be OK for the T, if you're just FECing you'll probably have an easier time of it chemo wise - most people tolerate FEC better than T - it makes you sick but thats controlable andn constipated but tahts controllable whereas T is the tired and achey half for most people which is harder - but your hair will suffer more. Limited washing and tending is recommended afterwards too, to give it the best chance of survival.
I'm on Capecitebine right now for secondaries and floiurishing on it - my hairdresser asked me last tiome I saw her what I was doing to my hair its the best she's seen it - chemo say I!!
Hope this helps
I started chemo in Jan (FEC 75 x 6 ) and am on FEC/2 using the cold cap. For me, losing my hair is the hardest part of the treatment, so I opted to try the cold cap. I was told it doesn't always work for everyone, but for some people it can be very effective and anything is worth trying!! As at 5 days post FEC/2, I still have a full head of hair, although it is slightly thinner, but looks much the same. I think it is well worth giving it a go, even if it just means you hang onto your hair for a little bit longer! If you do try the cold cap, just remember that for the first 15 to 20 minutes of having it on, it can be really painful and uncomfortable - after that time, it will eases off and becomes more bearable as your head adjusts to the cold. Give it a go - what's a freezing couple of hours compared to the chance of keeping your crowning glory! 😉
I didn't use the cold cap because I was advise I'd lose all my hair anyway with fec. As it turned out i ended up only having one fec.
If I'd used the cold cap I think i'd have hung on to at least a covering of hair.
Without it I lost all my hair just over 2 weeks after my fec. It all came out after washing. It was extremely distressing.
With the benefit of hindsight I wish I'd been a cold capper.