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Starling is thrilled be the first hematology/ oncology practice in Greater Hartford to offer the innovative Paxman Scalp Cooling System technology to breast cancer patients.

Scalp cooling is a simple treatment that can prevent hair loss caused by certain chemotherapy drugs. The use of scalp cooling has been proven to be effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced hair loss and can result in patients retaining much, or even all, of their hair. For people receiving chemotherapy, scalp cooling can mean the opportunity to regain some control, ensure some privacy, and maintain a positive attitude toward treatment.

Dr. Daniel Morganstern, a premier breast cancer subspecialist at Starling, shares that this all-in-one solution has been carefully studied in terms of outcomes and has been successful in preserving hair for patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. He is pleased that Starling will be one of the only oncology practices in the area to offer this technology to help patients take control of their hair loss. This groundbreaking scalp cooling treatment is currently offered at the leading cancer centers, including Dana Farber, Memorial Sloane Kettering, and throughout Europe.

Why Chemotherapy Causes Hair Loss

Chemotherapy works by targeting all rapidly dividing cells in the body. Hair is the second fastest dividing cell, which is why many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. Chemotherapy damages hair follicles (at the root of the hair), resulting in hair loss about 2 weeks after the start of chemotherapy.

Likelihood of Hair Loss

Am I going to lose my hair? It’s one of the questions that people generally ask when they initially find out they need chemotherapy. Many chemotherapy drugs used to treat solid tumor cancers, including taxanes and anthracyclines, cause alopecia, or hair loss. Your healthcare team can help determine if the specific chemotherapy drugs you are taking will have this side effect.

How Scalp Cooling Works

Scalp cooling reduces the damage that chemotherapy does to hair follicles, which causes hair to fall out. It does this by lowering the temperature of the scalp. Using the scalp cooling treatment, also known as the “cold cap,” reduces the temperature of the scalp by a few degrees immediately before, during, and after the administration of chemotherapy. This in turn reduces blood flow to the area around the hair follicles, which may prevent or minimize hair loss.

Starling staff will help patients who desire to register for the program. Caps are sized to the individual patient. During chemotherapy treatment, carefully trained staff will administer use of the cap. It will require the patient to be there for an additional 30 minutes prior and 90 minutes post-treatment. The Starling nursing staff will make every effort to ensure the comfort of the patient throughout the treatment.

Why Starling Is Offering This Service

Chemotherapy-induced hair loss is widely recognized as one of the most traumatic side effects associated with cancer treatment. By offering the most trusted scalp cooling system on the market, Starling is able to help patients reduce hair loss throughout chemotherapy and empower them to feel a greater sense of control.

Dr. Morganstern explains, “There are two aspects to breast cancer – the right medications and treatment plans. But throughout the process, our patients wage a psychological/ social war that is extremely difficult. This scalp cooling technology is one of a number of advancements that can help patients more effectively navigate this process and minimize side effects such as hair loss. This innovation not only helps our patients successfully navigate therapy, but helps them hold their lives together and bolster their self-esteem though one of the worst times of their lives.”

Why Starling Chose to Partner with Paxman

Paxman has been pioneering scalp cooling technology for over a quarter of a century and is the leading global expert in scalp cooling, a clinically proven treatment available throughout the world. Their system was developed by a British family who understood firsthand what it is like to lose hair due to cancer treatment. They have helped tens of thousands of women around the globe to regain some control by giving them the choice to keep their hair while undergoing chemotherapy.

Paxman works alongside medical experts, professionals, and world leaders in the field to provide extensive research, clinical studies, and testing. Independent observational studies have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of the Paxman Scalp Cooling System in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced hair loss with widely used chemotherapy dosages and regimens.

All trials have reported high levels of patient comfort and acceptability, with low numbers of patients discontinuing scalp cooling.

Paxman partners with major cancer centers including Dana Farber, Memorial Sloane Kettering, and centers in the Southern part of Connecticut. Starling will be the first to use this technology in the Greater Hartford area.

Patients Eligible for Participation

Scalp cooling has been specifically studied for effectiveness with breast cancer treatments, as this was the first area to receive FDA clearance and was the driver behind the scalp cooling system. However, many cancer centers are also using the technology with other solid tumors and are finding success with scalp cooling for ovarian, GI, prostate, and some lung cancers.

Starling breast cancer patients will be among the first participants in the program. Those undergoing other cancer regimens will be considered on a case by case basis.

Costs to Participate

The cost of the scalp cooling cap is $500. Chemo cycles 1 through 4 are $200 per cycle. Cycles 5 and 6 are $150 per cycle. Cycles 7 through 12 are $100 per cycle. You will never pay more than $2,200, as the price is limited.  

It is currently not covered by insurance. All payments are paid directly to Paxman and Starling is not paid to administer the program.

There is financial assistance through HairToStay, which provides financial assistance to patients who qualify to receive funding for the cap and cycles. This can dramatically reduce the costs.

To Learn More

For anyone who is new to scalp cooling or has not heard of it before, find out more at www.PaxmanUSA.com. This one-stop information site contains detailed information about what scalp cooling is, how it works, video demonstrations, and even testimonials from American patients who have used scalp cooling already.

We have included common questions and answers below.

Questions & Answers

What is scalp cooling?

Scalp cooling is a simple treatment that can prevent hair loss caused by certain chemotherapy drugs. The use of scalp cooling has been proven to be effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced alopecia, or hair loss, and can result in people retaining much of their hair. Some people retain all of it.

For people receiving chemotherapy, scalp cooling can mean the opportunity to regain some control, ensure some privacy, and maintain a positive attitude toward treatment.

Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss?

Chemotherapy works by targeting all rapidly dividing cells in the body. Hair is the second fastest dividing cell, which is why many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. Chemotherapy damages hair follicles (at the root of the hair), resulting in hair loss about 2 weeks after the start of chemotherapy.

Does hair always fall out with chemotherapy?

Many chemotherapy drugs used to treat solid tumor cancers, including taxanes and anthracyclines, cause alopecia, or hair loss. Ask a member of your healthcare team if your specific chemotherapy drugs have this side effect.

How does scalp cooling work?

Scalp cooling reduces the damage that chemotherapy causes to hair follicles. It does this by lowering the temperature of the scalp immediately before, during, and after chemotherapy. This in turn reduces blood flow to the area around the hair follicles, which may prevent or minimize hair loss.

The Paxman Scalp Cooling System has excellent heat extraction technology, making it the most comfortable and tolerable scalp cooling method. In addition, the Paxman Scalp Cooling System is administered by healthcare professionals during chemotherapy.

How long does scalp cooling take?

If you choose to have scalp cooling during chemotherapy, you will wear the Paxman Scalp Cooling Cap for 30 minutes pre-infusion, during chemotherapy infusion, and for a maximum of 90 minutes afterward (depending on your therapy).

It is important to continue with scalp cooling each time you go for chemotherapy to get the full benefits of hair preservation.

Are the cooling caps different sizes?

Yes, the cap comes in 3 sizes. Your Starling provider will fit you for your cap before you start your treatment and provide your size on the enrollment form.

Can I wash my cap?

Yes, use warm soapy water and cleaning wipes provided in the Cap Kit and allow to air dry.

Do I just put on the cap when I get to my appointment?

A nurse at the physician’s office will provide you with more information on how to fit the cap on your head, connect to the Paxman Scalp Cooling System, and what will take place during each stage. Once you receive your cap at home, it is essential that you view the patient tutorials to assist you with the cap fitting process. These can be viewed at www.paxmanUSA.com.

How can I purchase a Paxman Scalp Cooling Cap?

Patients and physicians will need to complete an enrollment form and submit it to the Paxman Hub. The Hub will review and process the request and contact the patient for payment information. Once payment information is received, the pharmacy will ship the cooling cap to the patient’s home via overnight delivery.

Can I order additional supplies that come with my cap kit?

You can order additional supplies from our shop.

I paid for my cap and I haven’t received it yet. What is the status?

Please get in touch with the Paxman Hub.

How long will the pharmacy take to deliver my cap?

The pharmacy will ship by overnight delivery after a completed payment transaction. If paying with a credit card, please allow 1-2 days for payment completion. If paying by debit card or bank account information, please allow 3-4 days.

My friend has finished scalp cooling and I am the same size; can I use his/ her cap?

The Paxman cap is a federally-regulated device that is categorized as a Restricted Medical Device. By definition, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a Restricted Medical Device “can only be sold on oral or written authorization by a licensed practitioner or under conditions specified by regulation.” Therefore, in order to adhere to the guidelines set by our quality assurance standards and the FDA, patients are unable to give caps to other patients. The enrollment form is the equivalent of a prescription, so each patient will need a licensed practitioner to prescribe the cap. Upon receiving the prescription, the Paxman Hub will reach out to ensure that each patient receives a new cap that has been tested and meets their quality standards.

Is scalp cooling suitable for me? I don’t have breast cancer, but could I still use the cap for my treatment?

The FDA has cleared the Paxman Scalp Cooling System for use with all solid tumors. For more information, ask your physician.

Is scalp cooling available for children?

Scalp cooling is currently not allowed for pediatric patients.

So, I’ll be able to keep all my hair? I won’t lose any of it, right?

50% of patients are successful, depending on the drug regimen. It is important to understand that moderate hair loss is to be expected (30-50%) when using scalp cooling. If you don’t feel the need to wear a wig, a head scarf, or a head covering during chemo treatment, the scalp cooling is considered a success.

Are the caps and lines latex-free?

Yes, the caps are latex-free and made from silicone.

What do I need to take with me to my chemo treatment?

The scalp cooling cap comes with additional items in the Paxman Personal Cap Kit. We recommend taking all the items with you to your appointment in the carry case/ bag that is provided. The items included with the cap are:
Purse/ carry kit
Pay-for-use token – this is attached to the end of your cap’s tail and activates the Paxman Scalp Cooling System
Headband – this will be placed below the ears, to reduce discomfort from the cap
Conditioner – to provide a protective layer between the hair and the cooling cap
Towel
Detangling hairbrush
Mirror
Cleaning wipes

We also recommend bringing a hat, scarf, or head covering with you to your treatment to wear when traveling home, as your hair will be damp.

Can I wash my hair when I get home?

Yes. It is important that the conditioner used during scalp cooling treatment is rinsed from the hair at the earliest opportunity to avoid undue tangling of the hair. The Paxman conditioner provided in the Cap Kit is not a leave-in conditioner.

Do I need to wear something on my head when I leave my chemo appointment?

Your hair will be damp when you complete your treatment appointment, so you may find it more comfortable to wear a loose fitting hat or scarf.

Do I just put on the cap when I get to my appointment?

A nurse at the physician’s office will provide you with more information on how to fit the cap on your head, connect to the Paxman Scalp Cooling System, and what will take place during each stage. Once you receive your cap at home, it is essential that you view the patient tutorials to assist you with the cap fitting process.

Can I go to the restroom during treatment?

Yes, you can. The cap can be disconnected from the system; however, it is recommended that a maximum of 10 minutes be taken for a restroom visit or other disconnection. Any longer than this could lead to an increased chance of hair loss.

We recommend that you get the help of a family member, friend, or even a hairdresser to try to detangle the hair. Use lots of conditioner, hold the hair at the root, and slowly and carefully begin to detangle the hair starting from the bottom with a detangling brush. We are sorry that in some cases it is impossible to untangle the hair completely, and the only remedy is to cut the hair in the affected area. This is why it is so important to brush your hair at least daily to avoid developing tangles.

Will wearing a wig, hat, or head covering be bad for my hair?

No, just try to avoid anything too tight or that will pull on your hair.

How often can I wash my hair?

As often as you are comfortable; however, we recommend washing your hair less often than your usual hair care routine.

Are there restrictions on hair care prior to starting chemo and scalp cooling?

No, there are no restrictions on hair care prior to treatment, only after treatment has started. Please refer to page 25 of the “Guide to Scalp Cooling” brochure.

Can I use gels, mousse, hair spray, and other styling products?

Yes, if it is a mild and/ or gentle product that will not irritate the scalp. Please also be aware that the product may clog the hair follicles. At the earliest sign of any irritation, please stop use of these products.

Can leave-in conditioner be used on treatment days? What about on non-treatment days?

Leave-in conditioner can be used on treatment and non-treatment days, as long as it is a gentle and mild product.

Can I tie my hair up?

Yes, though we recommend that a soft or non-snag bobble or scrunchie be used so as not to put any stress on the root of the hair.

Can dry shampoo be used?

We have no clinical evidence to support the use of dry shampoo with scalp cooling; the product may clog the hair follicles.

Can I wear a swim cap?

Yes, a soft fabric option would be preferable to avoid pulling the hair upon removal of the cap. There is no reason why swimming should be stopped during scalp cooling treatment. We do, however, advise the continued overall gentle treatment of the hair and to be aware of the drying effect of chlorine, ensuring that you regularly brush your hair (including before shampooing), and to use plenty of conditioner.

Can hair be put in a ponytail after treatment and/ or on non-treatment days?

Yes, hair can be put in a ponytail on treatment and non-treatment days. We do recommend that a soft or non-snag bobble or scrunchie be used so as not to put any stress on the root of the hair.

Can I wear a riding hat?

Yes, there is no reason why riding should be stopped during scalp cooling treatment.

Is it okay for a patient not to wash their hair on chemo days if they just want to go to sleep when they get home?

Yes, it is fine, but it is important that they do wash their hair the day after to avoid the hair tangling.

Can I wear a cycling helmet?

Yes, there is no reason why cycling should be stopped during scalp cooling treatment.

If a patient has been using medicated shampoo for another condition prior to diagnosis or treatment, what should they do?

This should be fine to continue, since it is medicated and should not cause irritation to the scalp.

Can I do hot yoga?

Yes, there is no reason at all that you should avoid hot yoga during scalp cooling treatment; this should have no impact whatsoever on outcome.

How much does the scalp cooling cap cost? Is the cap a separate cost?

The cost of the scalp cooling cap is $500. Chemo cycles 1 through 4 are $200 per cycle. Cycles 5 and 6 are $150 per cycle. Cycles 7 through 12 are $100 per cycle. You will never pay more than $2,200, as the price is limited.

Will my insurance cover the cooling cap?

No, not at this time. The Paxman Scalp Cooling Cap and cycle fees are not covered by insurance companies. We are working with insurance companies with a view of potential future coverage.

I can’t afford the cost of the cap/ scalp cooling treatments. What can I do?

HairToStay provides financial assistance to patients who qualify to receive funding for the cap and cycle fees.

What is your refund policy?

The cap is non-refundable. Any unused treatment cooling credits are refundable, following completion of an enrollment form by the treating physician.

What method of payment can I use?

Visa, Mastercard, Discover, debit card, or bank account with routing information.

What will you do with my credit card/ bank account details?

We don’t store payment information. When you’re providing banking information, it is through a secure IVR system which is not visible to us. This is to stay in compliance with PCI (payment card industry) standards.