A Natural Way to Keep Your Hair After Chemo
October 14th, 2012 by Holly Cornish
Going bald is one of the most obvious and demoralizing signs of cancer — at least, if you opt for chemotherapy. Once you lose your hair, your secret is out. Your cancer battle goes public. It might garner you sympathy from strangers, but you also lose the ability to carry on a normal life. And maybe worse, every time you look in the mirror, you see a sick person.
For women especially, hair loss can be the single most traumatic side-effect of going through cancer. It’s a verdict without appeal delivered by oncologists who recommend chemo: “You have a good chance of survival. The cancer may not come back. But you will lose all your hair.” Some people actually refuse chemotherapy because the idea of hair loss is so terrifying.
I’m happy to tell you there may be an answer. Keep reading. . .
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The secret to curing cancer:
You’ve been throwing it in the trash!
In 1921, a British doctor discovered that members of a remote native tribe were almost totally cancer-free. But when members of this tribe move away from their native land and change their diet, they get cancer just like anyone else.
It’s all thanks to a food most of us throw away as waste — a food that’s rich in amygdalin — what most of us call Laetrile.
Click here now and watch a video presentation about this cancer breakthrough. One cancer expert calls this overlooked food “the key to curing AND preventing cancer” — and you can benefit now — without going to a doctor or buying expensive supplements. This little throwaway food tastes great. Bill Clinton, of all people, eats a certain amygdalin-rich food all the time, and so can you. Click here now to watch the video!
Thanks to something called cold cap therapy, a huge number of cancer patients can be saved the embarrassment of hair loss. This very simple, all-natural therapy has been around for years and is popular in Europe, though it’s been slow to catch on in the U.S.
The bottom line here is that most cancer sufferers can make it through chemo with a full head of hair. I’m not a fan of chemo at all, but if that’s the treatment you choose, then you deserve to know there’s a pretty good chance to keep yourself from going bald. And it’s easy, too.
Freeze toxins right out of your head
The concept itself is simple — and also a bit strange: You wear a frozen cap during chemo treatment. It keeps your scalp cold. And somehow, this prevents your hair from falling out.
The caps themselves look like swimmers’ caps. They’re also known as hypothermia caps, since they appear to induce local vasoconstriction around hair follicles (vasoconstriction is the body’s natural response to cold). This means blood flow around the hair follicle slows. As a result, toxins from chemotherapy drugs don’t fully circulate around the follicles, and the hair stays rooted.
The first patent for this therapy was filed in the late 1970s. Called “Chemo caps” at the time, the caps consisted of multiple gel-filled nylon pouches. The pouches were frozen and then worn for 15 to 20 minutes before chemo took place.
Studies at the time showed success rates for the Chemo Cap were around 73%. So when the first patent expired, a new wave of interest in “scalp cooling” took place.
Now, the two most common cap systems are the Penguin Cold Cap and the DigniCap Scalp Cooling System. Both are used throughout Europe, with success rates verging on 85% or higher. At this time, DigniCaps are not available in the U.S, but the Penguin caps are.
The Penguin Cold Caps are filled with crylon gel cooled down to -22 degrees Fahrenheit. The caps have to be changed every thirty minutes during the chemo treatment process. The DigniCap system involves a coolant pumped into the caps by a compressor. Temperature sensors inside the caps control circulation of the coolant.
The company behind the Penguin Cold Caps claims thousands of patients in Europe have kept their hair thanks to this simple intervention. But for U.S. residents, access is a problem. The caps can be rented, but they must be stored in a freezer that can maintain a temperature of -22 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s extremely cold. Not many hospitals offer access to this kind of freezer.
Thankfully, there are people trying to change all that. Shirley Billigmeier, an American who kept her hair following chemotherapy thanks to Penguin Cold Caps, joined with her friend Nancy Marshall to co-found something called The Rapunzel Project. They donate freezers to cancer sufferers around the country who want to try the therapy.
Doesn’t apply to all cancers
It’s controversial, of course. And there are plenty of skeptics in the medical community. It’s only thanks to the power of the Internet that cold cap therapy is surfacing in the U.S. Patients are talking to each other, looking for a better way than what their oncologists offer.
A lot of oncologists either don’t know about the treatment or are stuck on the early trial results from back in the 1980’s. There are also doctors who are skeptical of the treatment because it means the chemo isn’t getting into a patient’s scalp and hair follicles, meaning patients could undergo metastases of the scalp.
Yet a 2009 study in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment recorded a 1.1% incidence in scalp metastasis among women who used the cold caps, while a 1.2% increase was recorded among women who did not use the caps. In other words — no difference in scalp cancer results from using the caps.
Keep in mind, cold cap therapy doesn’t appear to be appropriate for all cancers. If you have a blood-borne cancer, like leukemia or lymphoma, then it’s not recommended. The thinking is that because blood circulates through your scalp, any chemo treatment targeting cancer cells in the blood might fail to reach every place in the body where it’s needed.
Cold caps are most commonly used for women getting chemo as a preventive therapy for breast cancer, or for patients with other localized forms of cancer.
More studies are taking place in the hopes that cold cap treatment can be made more widely available. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has a study underway, and New York Hospital in New York City has been working on a cold cap study for the past two years.
For now, insurance companies don’t cover it because, in their view, it hasn’t been thoroughly studied. Total cost for the Penguin caps is around $1500 after cap rental and buying dry ice, which is a back-up freezing method if you can’t get hold of a suitable freezer.
It’s about patient empowerment
The oncologists today who are open to cold cap therapy are the ones whose patients have used it successfully. The real-life cases they’ve seen are encouraging them to look past survival numbers and outcome stats, and to start recognizing the emotional side effects that play a significant role in recovery.
As far as I’m concerned, this isn’t “just” about vanity. It’s about giving patients some meaningful control over what’s happening to them. Taking charge of the way you look, beating the odds, and beating the pronouncements of naysayer doctors is as good a way as any of sticking it to cancer. After all, if you don’t look like a sick cancer patient, you won’t feel as much like a sick cancer patient. Keeping your spirits up can be essential to recovery.
I don’t personally know anyone who’s tried cold cap therapy. If you do, please share your experience on our Facebook page or write a letter to me at [email protected].
Do you sleep poorly or snore loudly? It can be a harbinger of serious health problems including cancer. If you missed this important article in the last issue, please scroll down and read it now.
When sleep problems turn deadly
Do you find yourself tossing and turning all night? Or do your eyes droop throughout the day because you never feel really rested?
Or do you fiercely deny claims that your snoring shakes the walls—even though you wake up yourself?!
If this sounds like you, it might be time for a serious look at your sleep patterns. More could be at stake than just being a noisy sleeper. Here are some facts to get you started. . .
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Show a Younger Face to the World
By repairing your skin’s DNA, you can soften your skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, tighten up your sagging jaw line, make your crow’s feet disappear, and fade sun and aging spots
A Nobel Prize winning secret makes it possible. Your “telomeres” determine how long your skin cells live. Telomeres are the “time keepers” attached to every strand of DNA. Each time your cells divide, your telomeres get shorter. The shorter your telomeres, the more your skin cells age… causing dry and wrinkled skin. Maintain the length of your telomeres, your skin will stay supple, radiant, and youthful.
Dr. Sears’ Revive DNA Rejuvenation Cream turns back your skin’s aging clock and helps you show a younger face to the world. Click here to find out more.
You might be one of the 28 million Americans suffering with the condition called sleep apnea. This could be the real reason for your fatigue… snoring… and dangerous pauses in breathing at night…
If you know about sleep apnea you may already know it’s been linked to a higher danger of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.
But the news about this problem just got worse: Now new research suggests that folks with sleep apnea could also run a higher risk of developing cancer!
Besides these longer run dangers, the condition can be dangerous in the short term, too! Although it won’t cause you to suffocate, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said sleep apnea does increase your chances of experiencing sudden cardiac activity that can lead to abnormal heart rhythms—and even DEATH!
Some folks see cancer risk increased fivefold…
For one study, a team of researchers in Spain tracked thousands of patients at sleep clinics. They found that people with severe sleep apnea had a 65 percent (almost two-thirds) greater risk of developing various types of cancer.
Investigators with the Spanish Sleep Network used a measure called the hypoxemia index to examine the amount of time blood oxygen levels dip below 90 percent at night.
They followed 5,200 people for seven years, all of whom were cancer-free at the beginning of the study.
They found that the more oxygen depletion participants experienced at night, the more likely a patient would be diagnosed with cancer during the study.
According to study author Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Garcia of La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital in Spain, when a person’s oxygen levels dropped below 90 percent for up to 12 percent of their sleep time—he or she had a 68 percent higher chance of developing cancer than people whose oxygen levels did not drop!
The second study focused on about 1,500 state government workers in Wisconsin. These participants in the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort have undergone extensive overnight sleep studies and other health tests about every four years since 1989.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found that participants who experienced the most severe nighttime breathing problems bumped up their risk of dying from cancer by nearly five times when compared to those without the disorder!
Doctors said these observational results may benefit from additional research to determine if other, unknown factors may account for the link between sleep apnea and cancer.
Is there any treatment for sleep apnea?
There definitely are things you can do to get sleep apnea under control. But the first step is determining for sure that you have this problem.
You might have a clue if a sleep mate tells you that you sound like a jackhammer at night!
But you can also have an overnight sleep study performed to monitor your breathing rate and the number of interruptions you experience throughout the night.
In some severe cases, people have been known to stop breathing 40 or more times each hour!
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the standard treatment is a machine that provides “continuous positive airway pressure” or CPAP (pronounced SEE-pap) for short.
The machine pushes air through a mask that the person wears at night. The additional air forced into nasal passages promotes easier breathing.
Researchers have found that CPAP therapy reduces—and in some cases completely prevents—apnea symptoms.
But some people might object to the bulkiness of sleeping with a mask over their faces at night…
In this case, there’s a new form of C.P.A.P. on the market. Ventus Medical has introduced a patch that fits over your nostrils.
The Provent patch holds two small plugs, one to place in each nostril. These plugs supply enough air pressure to keep the airways open at night.
The patches are less bulky and more portable than the traditional CPAP machine. But on the downside, buying monthly supplies of patches can be more expensive than the one-time expense of a CPAP machine.
And the machine is more likely to be covered by insurance plans than the nose patches—even though they received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2008.
In any case, there’s no doubt sleep apnea can have a serious impact on your health. And the fact that it could be tied to such terrible conditions as diabetes, heart disease and cancer should be enough reason to confirm a diagnosis and seek treatment.
This could go a long way toward ensuring that your next breath won’t be the LAST one!
Lee Euler, Publisher