While many women would be concerned about the highlights of gray hair, Marilyn Scherer embraces her salt and pepper roots.
"That's the good thing," she said. "I got to keep my hair. I didn't look sick and I didn't feel sick."
That's because while Scherer was diagnosed with cancer in July, began chemotherapy in August and completed treatment in December, she still has nearly all of her hair due to a new medical technology.
"You immediately think, 'oh gosh, am I going to die?' That's what everyone thinks when you hear cancer," said Scherer. "Then you think, 'oh wow, am I going to have to do chemo?' You worry. And you know if you do chemo, are you going to lose your hair? That's awful. It was devastating for me."
"When you cool the scalp there is less blood flow to the scalp," explained Menorah Medical Center breast medical oncologist Dr. Stephanie Graff. "Less blood flow means the chemo that is going into your veins isn't circulating to high concentrations in the scalp and the hair follicles don't have that cell turn over and trauma that they would otherwise have."
While losing one's hair is minor compared to losing one's life, Dignicap allows cancer patients to focus on treatment instead of its side effects.
Terra Hall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.