Patient Keeps Hair During Chemotherapy Thanks to New Technology

January 18, 2022 Providence News Team

NAPA, Calif. – December 15, 2021 –Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center announced today that The DigniCap® Scalp Cooling System is now available to minimize hair loss from chemotherapy. Queen of the Valley’s cancer team spent the last three years trying to make the program available to their patients and are now the only hospital in the Napa Valley to offer the treatment.

Positive results from the multi-center FDA clinical trial, published in February 2017 by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), indicate that seven out of ten patients using the DigniCap system kept at least 50% of their hair.

“For many patients hair loss is a very troublesome side effect of chemotherapy,” said Birha McCann, RN, a nurse navigator at Queen of the Valley’s cancer center. “DigniCap provides patients with a means to reduce hair loss from chemotherapy, maintaining a sense of privacy and self-esteem. We believe this is a significant advantage in caring for the whole patient and are proud to make this technology available to patients at the Queen.”

FDA-cleared since 2015, DigniCap minimizes hair loss from certain chemotherapy treatments for women and men with solid tumors such as those associated with breast, ovarian, uterine, prostate, and other tissues. The DigniCap Scalp Cooling System consists of a computerized cooling unit managed through a touch screen display and an attached cooling cap. The cap is fitted to the head, and temperature regulated coolant continuously circulates through specially designed channels in the cooling cap. The temperature of the scalp is lowered, resulting in vasoconstriction with reduced delivery of chemotherapy to the scalp, as well as reduced cellular uptake of drugs due to decreased intra follicular metabolic rate. These factors together reduce the risk of chemotherapy-induced hair loss.

Scott Lambert, who was prescribed chemotherapy by his doctors at Queen of the Valley after a cancer diagnosis last year, was very concerned about the hair loss side effect, and did not want to lose his hair, which he wears longer below the collar.

After talking with his wife, and with the knowledge that the DigniCap treatment was now available at the Queen, the father of two from Napa underwent the treatment before, during and after his chemotherapy sessions and said the decision to undergo the cold, but very tolerable DigniCap treatment was an easy one.

“There was never any doubt. The pro’s outweighed the only con, which was my head was very cold during treatment. It was no different though than being in Boston or New York in the winter,” said Lambert.

As to what he would tell others who aare going through chemotherapy and are eligible for the DigniCap treatment, Lambert said, “They should do it if they want to keep their hair. It was very beneficial, no question about it. It really works!”

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About Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center

Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a 208-bed, acute care facility founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The Queen is the largest healthcare facility and one of the largest employers in Napa County. Services provided include a regional heart center; orthopedic center and cancer center approved with commendations by the American College of Surgeons; the Peggy Herman Neuroscience Center, a neurosurgery program affiliated with UCSF; a Women’s Center; maternity and infant care; inpatient and outpatient minimally invasive surgery; and a full-service emergency department and trauma center, amongst many other specialty services. More information about Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center can be found at

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