LYNCHBURG, Va. – A new device to help cancer patients keep their hair is now in the Hill City.
Just three months ago, the Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg got the Dignicap
Cooling System and there are patients already using it.
The device cools the patient's scalp down to 37-degree to help prevent hair loss.
One Lynchburg woman helped bring the device to the Hill City.
It's her first Christmas she'll get to enjoy with her family since becoming cancer-free.
While Lizabeth Minuto went through chemotherapy, she used Dignicap in North Carolina and was able to keep 70 percent of her hair.
"There is a time where it's the worst ice cream headache of your life for about 20 minutes. The first time I had it happen I was like, 'Oh no, there's no way I can do this.' But then you just get kind of numb and then they have you on all these medicines in your IV anyway. So I just went to sleep at some point. It's tolerable, and just like childbirth I would do it again," Minuto said.
"That will help decrease the circulation that your scalp receives during chemotherapy, which will hopefully prevent hair loss from the chemotherapy," Jodie Nash, infusion center nurse at Centra, explained to 10 News about the device.
Treatment at the Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg is $300 per treatment with an out-of-pocket maximum of $2,400.
Cold Capital Fund launched in 2017 and is an advocate for the device.
They say most insurances do not cover treatment, but they help patients with financial assistance.
"Five years ago it was prohibitively expensive. Costs are going down as access becomes more available," Liz Lord, founder of Cold Capital Fund, said.