BayCare Hospitals Help Cancer Patients Keep Their Hair
TAMPA, Fla., (Dec. 8, 2020) – St. Joseph’s Hospital and St. Anthony’s Hospital are the latest BayCare hospitals to announce that The DigniCap® Scalp Cooling System is now available at their infusion centers to minimize hair loss from chemotherapy. Morton Plant Hospital and Mease Countryside Hospital began using the system in March 2018.
Positive results from the multi-center FDA clinical trial, published in February 2017 by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), indicate that seven out of 10 patients using the DigniCap system kept at least 50% of their hair.
“For many patients hair loss is a very troublesome side effect of chemotherapy,” said Nadia Ashai, M.D., oncologist for St. Joseph’s Hospitals. “DigniCap provides patients with a means to reduce hair loss while maintaining their privacy and self-esteem.”
FDA-cleared since 2015, DigniCap minimizes hair loss from certain chemotherapy treatments for women and men with solid tumors such as those associated with breast, ovarian, uterine, prostate and other tissues.
“This procedure is another way of being engaged with patients and channeling their anxiety and fear about life-saving treatments,” said Ahmad Shaker, M.D., a medical oncologist for St. Anthony’s Hospital. “We are providing the patient with excellent care while providing them with all the psychological support they need through difficult treatment times. We believe in fighting cancer on all fronts."
“We believe this is a significant advantage in caring for the whole patient,” said Robert Gabordi, M.D., medical director, St. Joseph’s Hospital Breast Center. “We are proud to make this technology available to patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital.”
The DigniCap Scalp Cooling System consists of a computerized cooling unit managed through a touch screen display and an attached cooling cap. The cap is fitted to the head, and temperature regulated coolant continuously circulates through specially designed channels in the cooling cap. During scalp cooling, reduced blood flow in the scalp area limits the amount of chemotherapy agent delivered to the hair follicles. This reduces the metabolic rate causing normal cellular activity in the localized scalp area to slow dramatically. With these two reactions, the follicles absorb fewer chemotherapy agents and hair loss is significantly reduced.
Please note that scalp cooling is effective with many chemotherapy drugs, but not all. Your doctor can tell you if scalp cooling is compatible with your treatment.
Other BayCare infusion centers at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South and South Florida Baptist Hospital will offer the system at their infusion centers in the near future.
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and west central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit www.BayCare.org.