Ice Caps

What are ice caps?

Ice caps are a cold cap therapy that use a special set of caps cooled to very cold temperatures and worn before, during, and after chemo therapy.

There are machine capping systems and manual capping systems. The machine systems are leased by hospitals and clinics, and available at various locations, where they are installed. Two machine systems available depending on your location are:

DigniCap and Paxman

The manual system involves transporting a cooler with dry ice, ice caps and related items you need to your chemo appointment every time you go. When you lease your equipment your provider has instructions regarding temperature, and other recommendations for you to follow.

I used the manual system since my doctor and chemo facility were not affiliated with the machine system. My doctor and oncology nurse were very supportive of the choice I made “to keep my hair” and coordinated my IV’s, with the required ice cap timing.

As I was considering what to do about losing my hair, and had questions about results, it was difficult to get answers quickly. I didn’t know what to “Google” … All I really wanted, was to see what the average response was in terms of expected hair loss, visually. I could find smiling, women with positive reviews, but not specific, detailed results.

For this reason, I decided to take photos of my hair and sink strainer when I shampooed my hair, before each chemo treatment. It was a little scary as I approached chemo 6, 7, 8, and 9 constantly wondering, “is this the time my strainer will be full of hair?” This never happened!

Financial assistance may be available for patients using ice caps. If your income is at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level go to www.hairtostay.org/apply-for-a-subsidy and fill out the form available to you.

Check Out Images of Rachel's Hair Throughout Her Chemotherapy!

I will share what worked for me with fabulous results!

Must Do's When Using Ice Caps

On the way to one of my chemo appointments the wheel broke on the cooler, as we were leaving my home. I was fortunate the friend who was bringing me to chemo had a dolly in her trunk. I used this dolly from then on, as it was strong, compact, and easy to use. This dolly is strong and easily folds to fit in your trunk.

 

 

How To Package Your Ice Caps in Your Cooler

The night before your chemo treatment, put ice caps in your cooler, arranging from #1 - #6. Put ice on the sides and tops of caps. Stack ice 2 layers thick on top of caps. 2 layers is important because ice freezes down and this helps refreeze the caps and get them cold enough, when you are using them the 2nd and 3rd times.

 

 

 

When arriving at your chemo appointment, because your body temperature is normal, have your nurse prepare your arm for chemo.
After your arm is ready for Chemo put Ice cap #1 on and leave on for 25 minutes.

Note: Leave the caps in the cooler until you get to your chemo appointment. Take hat #1 out about 15 minutes before you plan to put it on. It needs this time to loosen up so you can put it on your head. Coordinate this time with your chemo nurse.

After your arm is ready for chemo, put the first ice cap on and leave on for 25 minutes. Here is a schedule I created to time yourself for each cap you wear during and after your chemo treatments.

Ice Cap Schedule During/After Chemo

After you have worn the ice caps for 1 hour, your nurse can put the taxel drug in your IV.

Follow the sequence of taking hats #1 - #6 out for 15 minutes before you put them on, to allow for thawing.

Leave each hat on 25 minutes, or recommended time suggested by your ice cap provider.
Also follow their guidelines regarding temperature.

When you take each hat off, put it back in the cooler in the proper sequence of #1 - #6. Make sure that when you put them back in the cooler you stack the ice 2 layers thick.

When you finish wearing hat #1 - #6 for the first time, you no longer need to take them out 15 minutes early. You will find that when you put them on the 2nd and 3rd times, they will easily go on your head.

 

Follow the 25 minute time frame and continue using ice caps for 4 hours after you have finished
receiving the taxel drug. Write the time down that the taxel drug is finished so you don’t forget.
Check that the temperature continues to follow the recommendation of your ice cap provider as
you continue using the ice caps for the remaining 4 hours of time.

The following companies provide manual Ice Caps:

Note:
Ice Caps provide a scalp cooling system. Hair loss prevention is not guaranteed and individual
results may vary. Combining this treatment with other established measures is recommended for the best possible outcome. As with any supplementary medicinal treatment, you should consult with your doctor before using.

Check Out Images of Rachel's Hair Throughout Her Chemotherapy!