I'm no medic either, but I would have thought that if there was any significant risk, even a tiny weeny one, that it would have to be discussed before starting. Considering all the side effects and risks that are pointed out and discussed at length with every other aspect of treatment, I can't see how they would not with cold capping and brain cancer. My conversation with my onco was literally "I don't want to lose my hair" "Well let's try cold capping then" If there was a risk and it wasn't discussed with all the women that have ever done it, their legal bills would be astronomical by now and it would be something that woud also hit the media with a tidal wave of coverage.
Mine was incredibly succesful, no noticible hair loss at all on FECT. If I could have cold capped my eyelashes, I'd have done that as well.
Keeping everythng crossed for you that things turn out ok xxx
Sending you a virtual hug and good wishes.
Well you have enough to think about getting through your treatments without the additional worries. We have so much to take into account and then we decide to torture ourselves with all worse case scenarios. From what you have stated, it would seem the nurse jumped the gun/maybe could have checked things out more with you.
It is common to be checked for cancer spread prior to treatment commencing. Did you have a scan prior to your treatment to check whether the cancer had spread, apart from in lymph nodes? From what I know, it would be extremely rare for breast cancer to spread first to the brain.
You say you have a "head cold" - what do you mean by that? My definition of a head cold is a common cold with symptoms more centred around the head and facial region, runny nose, sore throat etc. But then this may not be what you mean. If it's a cold then I would expect it to clear up at least within 10 days/a couple of weeks. Maybe it is a sign of the effect of the chemo hitting your immune system. The symptoms of cancer spreading to the brain are different to having a cold as far as I know, eg.Headaches that get worse or keep coming back, Seizures ,Problems walking, speaking, seeing, or thinking, Changes in behavior or personality, Nausea and vomiting and others.
I am picking up that you seem to be saying not that you are worried about using the cold cap and this causing risks of cancer spreading to the brain but that you are concerned that you have spread to the brain already and that if you continue with the cold cap you are worried that that it will reduce the effectiveness of chemo?
Maybe I have picked this up wrong but whichever is the case then I really would advise that you discuss it with the team/Oncologist undertaking your treatment and they can check for spread/reassure you/advise you accordingly.
There are no guarantees that chemo will always work and prevent recurrence, and some chemo, like taxotere, can have a rare side effect of leaving people bald or with thin patchy hair which can be obviously extremely distressing. In the end there are risks with any choice we make, we just need to be informed and to weigh up the pros and cons based on what is important to us.
Regarding use of cold cap generally with treatment. I am no medic either. When I researched the pros and cons for myself, I think they have been in use for over 20 years or something like that. If use was linked to brain cancer spread then I think it would be very well documented by now. I think I did come across one case where they thougt it may have occurred but this was not totally clear. I think that the concern was more about cancer spread initially to the scalp. However, the scalp and head will surely still get a dose of chemo even with the cold cap. It may not get the initial strongest hit but the cold cap is only on your head for a couple of hours whilst the chemo drugs keep travelling and working in your body surely for some time.
On the Macmillan site, they list the following circumstances in which cold capping is not deemed suitable:
Scalp cooling is not suitable if:
Take care Minipixie and hope you let us know how you get on x
So I started my 1st chemo treatment last week. Just before my 1st treatment I felt like I had a head cold and mentioned it to the nurse. I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in Malaysia, had a lumsectomy where they found it had spread to 3 nodes. They did a masectomy and were happy they had removed it but it was pretty aggressive. So at my nurse appointment the nurse said if I continue to feel like I did they might need to do a scan as sometimes with breast cancer it can spread to the brain! Not the right thing to say as I am now a little worried. Given that I am having chemo I am kinda okay as surely the chemo goes everywhere and it should get anything if it spreads...but then I decided to use the cold cap. So my question is, does the cold cap stop the chemo from treating the brain effectivley? Am I being completely stupid with this?