• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Scalp cooling therapy preserves patient’s hair — and positive attitude

February 18, 2018

Diagnosed with breast cancer, Kristin Ferguson needed chemotherapy after a mastectomy. Uneasy about losing her hair, she was relieved to be offered a way to keep her long locks intact with cold cap therapy.

It was during a March 2016 visit to the hair salon that Kristin Ferguson first heard about scalp cooling  therapy. She was admiring another customer's hair and was shocked to learn the woman had been treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer. Many patients lose their hair during treatment, but this woman had worn a special cap that prevented the chemotherapy medication from reaching her hair follicles.

Nine months later, that information would be valuable for Kristin when her annual mammogram revealed a suspicious spot in her left breast. After a biopsy, she learned she had invasive lobular carcinoma — a type of breast cancer.

a medical illustration of cold cap therapy for chemotherapy patients

"I got a call from my OB-GYN. He said, 'I can get you in here, or if you want a comprehensive approach, you can go to Mayo Clinic,'" Kristin says.

Recognizing the complexity of her unexpected diagnosis, the 45-year-old wife and mother of three teenagers opted to have her care at the Robert and Monica Jacoby Center for Breast Health on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus.

"I didn't want to be the one managing all my appointments," Kristin says. "I wanted a dedicated team and everyone to confer on my diagnosis and decide what the best plan was for me." Read the rest of Kristin's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.