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Scalp Cooling FAQ

Nurse fitting a woman with a cold cap which is blue and fits snug to her head
Photo courtesy of Paxman

What is Scalp Cooling?

Scalp cooling therapy (“cold caps”) is a process to help preserve hair during chemotherapy treatment.

Can patients use cold caps at the Rogel Cancer Center and University of Michigan Health?

Patients have traditionally used manual cold caps that they have purchased or rented from a company such as the Penguin Brand. Patients manage the logistics of using the caps and bring them to their appointments. There is now an additional option for scalp cooling with a partnership with Paxman, which uses a computerized machine located onsite making access and upkeep less work for the patient. Patients will have the option to use either machine or manual caps.

Why Paxman?

The Paxman cap has been shown to be more comfortable for many patients. In addition, it requires less work for the patient compared to manual caps.

Are cold caps covered by insurance?

No. Currently all options for cold caps are patient self-pay.

Can I use Paxman at all Rogel Cancer Center locations?

Currently, the machines are offered exclusively at the Brighton Center for Specialty Care infusion clinic. Because Infusion scheduling is very complex and the cold cap machines will add further considerations, we are starting with one infusion location so that we can refine the workflow and decrease disruption to the schedules of other patients. We hope to roll out to a second infusion location in the coming year.

Can any infusion patient use the Paxman cool cap?

In order to optimize our workflow and provide excellent care, we are rolling out use of Paxman machines carefully. Paxman scalp cooling will only be offered to breast cancer patients getting certain chemotherapies at this time. Breast cancer patients were the first patients for whom the FDA approved use of the machine, and breast cancer patients make up the majority of our patients currently electing to use cold caps. We anticipate offering Paxman scalp cooling to all eligible patients once we have refined our processes.

Can I still use manual cold caps?

Patients interested in scalp cooling who are not eligible for or interested in the Paxman machines can still use manual caps if desired.