We are excited to offer our community the benefits of The DigniCap Scalp Cooling System!
Dignicap is a proven way to safely and effectively minimize hair loss from chemotherapy.
What is Scalp Cooling?
Scalp cooling is a proven approach to reduce chemotherapy-induced alopecia that has been used successfully by thousands of patients worldwide for several decades. Reduced temperature results in a decreased blood flow to the scalp area so that less chemotherapy reaches the hair cells. Hair cells are therefore not exposed to the full dose of chemotherapy and may be able to survive the chemotherapy treatment. As a result, hair is less likely to fall out.
Why do patients use scalp cooling?
- Scalp cooling is not about vanity. Patients who choose scalp cooling typically do so for reasons related to protecting privacy, preserving dignity, supporting self-esteem, and maintaining control over some aspect of treatment.
- Hair loss is considered the most troublesome side effect of chemotherapy as it is a visible reminder of the disease.
- 10-15% of patients decline prescribed chemotherapy for fear of losing their hair
Why does Chemotherapy cause hair loss?
Chemotherapy affects cells that are in the phase of division or growth. All the cells in the body may be affected by chemotherapy, not just the cancer cells. This means that even healthy cells, especially cells with a high growth rate such as your hair, are likely to be affected by the chemotherapy.
How does scalp cooling work?
Two physiologic reactions occur during scalp cooling:
- Reduced blood flow — Vasoconstriction in the scalp area limits the amount of chemo that can reach the hair follicles.
- Reduced metabolism — Lower scalp temperature decreases the reaction 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.
How much does it cost – and is scalp cooling covered by insurance?
- Cost for DigniCap varies, depending on the location providing the service as well as the number of treatments that a patient has. On average patients pay $1500-$2000 to use DigniCap.
- In the U.S., scalp cooling is not yet universally covered by insurance, but many patients are receiving reimbursement at varying levels. Updates are posted at www.dignicap.com/insurance.
- Dignitana works with foundations around the country that provide financial support to patients using scalp cooling at specific facilities, including HairToStay (HairToStay.org), a 501(c)3 national non-profit foundation
Who can use scalp cooling?
- Women and men with solid tumor cancers undergoing chemotherapy that typically causes hair loss – this is typically patients with breast, prostate, ovarian, uterine cancers as well as some other tissues.
- In 2015 DigniCap was first FDA cleared to treat women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.
- In July 2017, the FDA expanded the clinical indications for DigniCap to include men and women with solid tumor cancers undergoing chemotherapy.
Does it work?
- In the U.S. pivotal trial 66.3% of patients with breast cancer kept at least 50% of their hair, compared to a control group where all patients experienced significant hair loss.
- Most patients will still lose some hair – but DigniCap provides protection to the hair follicles and most patients will see hair regrowing even before they are done with chemo.
- Treatment success is measured by a patient not feeling the need to wear a head covering such as a wig, scarf or hat.
How long has this been available and who makes it?
- DigniCap has been used outside the US since 2009 and became available in the US in 2015
- DigniCap is manufactured by Dignitana, a Swedish company. US headquarters are in Dallas, Texas.
- DigniCap was invented by a Swedish Oncology nurse and the name was inspired by the Latin word dignitas meaning dignity.
Call our office to get started with your DigniCap scalp cooling treatment today at 563-345-4325
Making a referral is easy
Infusion referral form – Fax your patient’s demographics, orders and insurance information to our office at (563) 345-4326 during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Friday). In most cases, we can schedule infusions within a week or even two days of referral.
We will contact the patient directly to set up an appointment. You will receive ongoing updates about their infusion and overall progress. We will work closely with you to coordinate future infusions.