The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

July 22, 2013

Cold caps tested to prevent hair loss during chemo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first time Miriam Lipton had breast cancer, her thick locks fell out two weeks after starting chemotherapy. The second time breast cancer struck, Lipton gave her scalp a deep chill and kept much of her hair — making her fight for survival seem a bit easier.

Hair loss is one of chemotherapy's most despised side effects, not because of vanity but because it fuels stigma, revealing to the world an illness that many would rather keep private.

"I didn't necessarily want to walk around the grocery store answering questions about my cancer," recalled Lipton, 45, of San Francisco. "If you look OK on the outside, it can help you feel, 'OK, this is manageable, I can get through this.'"

Now U.S. researchers are about to put an experimental hair-preserving treatment to a rigorous test: To see if strapping on a cap so cold it numbs the scalp during chemo, like Lipton did, really works well enough to be used widely in this country, as it is in Europe and Canada.

Near-freezing temperatures are supposed to reduce blood flow in the scalp, making it harder for cancer-fighting drugs to reach and harm hair follicles. But while several types of cold caps are sold around the world, the Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved their use in the U.S.

Scalp cooling is an idea that's been around for decades, but it never caught on here in part because of a concern: Could the cold prevent chemotherapy from reaching any stray cancer cells lurking in the scalp?

"Do they work and are they safe? Those are the two big holes. We just don't know," said American Cancer Society spokeswoman Kimberly Stump-Sutliff, an oncology nurse who said studies abroad haven't settled those questions. "We need to know."

Text Only
AP National
  • FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration. While the proposal be

    April 24, 2014

  • Taliban ready to deal on captive US soldier? WASHINGTON (AP) — The captors of an American soldier held for nearly five years in Afghanistan have signaled a willingness to release him but are unclear which U.S. government officials have the authority to make a deal, according to two individuals

    April 24, 2014

  • Big riders mean big horses on Western trails BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Wranglers in the West who have for decades cashed in on the allure of getting on a horse and setting out on an open trail say they have had to add bigger horses to their stables to help carry larger tourists over the rugged terrai

    April 24, 2014

  • Biologists watching fish runs after deadly slide DARRINGTON, Wash. (AP) — Fisheries biologist Pete Verhey waded through the cold, clear creek that feeds into the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, scanning riffles and side channels looking for evidence of fish eggs. "We got one!" he shouted, pu

    April 24, 2014

  • FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes, but enhance scrutiny of such

    April 24, 2014

  • Court critical of Ohio law punishing campaign lies WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appears to be highly skeptical of laws that try to police false statements during political campaigns, raising doubts about the viability of such laws in more than 15 states. Justices expressed those concerns early

    April 23, 2014

  • Report on CIA interrogations shadows Gitmo trials WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's forthcoming report on the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques could add to the legal complications facing the long-delayed U.S. military tribunals of terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The

    April 23, 2014

  • APNewsBreak: Clemency after 10 years in prison? WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will begin considering clemency applications from nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars, according t

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri executes inmate for 1993 farm slaying BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday only a few miles from the farm where prosecutors say he orchestrated the 1993 killing of a couple whose cows he wanted to steal. William Rousan's last words were, "My trials and tran

    April 23, 2014

  • Republican activists push party on gay marriage LAS VEGAS (AP) — As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger vot

    April 23, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National