When Marilyn Scherer, 55, of Overland Park, had chemotherapy treatment at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Menorah Medical Center in August 2016 she had a full head of long, thick hair. Weeks following her final treatment in December 2016, her long hair, for the most part, was still long and thick. Scherer’s oncologist, Dr. Stephanie Graff, M.D.—a board-certified physician who specializes in breast cancer—used DigniCap, recognized as the most scientifically advanced FDA-approved scalp-cooling treatment for chemotherapy-induced hair loss available.
“The technology is designed to work with a woman’s chemotherapy regimen from the very first infusion and is an effective, comfortable and safe option for prevention of hair loss,” Graff says. “Though some might minimize it, hair plays a role in our overall sense of wellness, confidence and quality of life. And those are important components to achieving best cancer care for patients like Marilyn Scherer.”
Menorah Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—was the first Kansas City-area hospital to install DigniCap and began using the technology in June 2016. The groundbreaking system is the only one that provides scalp cooling at temperatures above freezing; its built-in temperature sensors and precision cooling mechanism facilitate gradual and tolerable temperature fluctuations on the scalp. The system offers continuous monitoring for comfort and consistent treatment application, as well as caps that don’t cover the ears so that a patient can still hear during treatment. It also features an intuitive touch-screen control panel.
“It was truly remarkable to not lose my hair,” Scherer says. “One of the things you hear so much about as a side effect of chemotherapy treatments is hair loss. Keeping my hair gave me confidence and esteem during treatments that were challenging physically, mentally and emotionally.”
“A hallmark of care at Menorah Medical Center is providing solutions for issues that impact patients,” says Charles Laird, Menorah Medical Center Chief Executive Officer. “Offering this particular scalp-cooling system to help reduce hair loss in chemotherapy patients is part of our comprehensive, compassionate approach to cancer care.”
Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Menorah Medical Center is part of the Sarah Cannon HCA Midwest Health cancer network, providing local access to innovative clinical research trials, tumor profiling and genetic counseling; allowing patients to receive top, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home. Other Sarah Cannon HCA Midwest Health accredited cancer programs include Sarah Cannon at Belton Regional Medical Center, Accredited Associate Cancer Program; Sarah Cannon at Centerpoint Medical Center, Accredited Community Cancer Program; and Sarah Cannon at Research Medical Center, Accredited Comprehensive Cancer Program.
For more information about cancer care at Sarah Cannon at Menorah Medical Center, visit menorahmedicalcenter.com.