Being realistic in your expectations of scalp cooling
Having really high expectations is completely understandable, but if your hopes aren’t built on evidence and the experiences others have had on similar regimens, then you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. The classic saying – prepare for the worst, hope for the best – will serve you well.
Scalp Cooling Outcomes Calculator
We have developed a calculator that will give you an indication of the amount of hair retention you could expect, based on the chemotherapy regimen you will be receiving. If you know your dosage you will get a more accurate indication.
The calculator uses information from the Dutch Scalp Cooling Registry which is a collection of information from over 7000 patients who have scalp cooled. It’s the biggest scalp cooling data set in the world. The information is a true representation of scalp cooling with real patients in real cancer centers, rather than in a clinical trial setting. Access to so much data means that the calculator can give a reliable indication of what you can expect. It is important to remember that the calculator will only provide an indication of what has been experienced by others - you may see more or less hair retention, but it’s a really good starting point.
You will also see that the calculator generates the appropriate post-infusion cooling time for your regimen. There can sometimes be some confusion around these times, but the times generated by the calculator are those that we would recommend to get the best possible outcomes with that particular regimen.
This can be hard to accept, but sadly there are no guarantees with scalp cooling. As a result, scalp cooling isn’t the right option for everyone.
Most patients who chose to scalp cool believe it was the right choice, even if they didn’t see the retention they might have hoped for.
For some people it’s an easy decision, but if you are feeling uncertain, it is good idea to give it a try. You don’t have to commit to scalp cooling for all your treatments – take it one step at a time. If it feels ok after your first treatment, then you can try it again with your second infusion. If at any point you don’t want to carry on, you can stop. If it’s not for you, then at least you won’t be left wondering what could have been.
By choosing scalp cooling you are doing everything you can to help to manage chemotherapy-induced hair loss and to encourage faster and healthier hair regrowth.
If you want to know more about why there are differing outcomes with scalp cooling for different people, please click here.
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