Cold Caps: Preserving Hair During Cancer Treatment


There is something to be said for a woman’s intuition.  When she was 38, Kellie Munro of Clovis had a strong feeling something wasn’t quite right.  “I felt that my hormones were off.  I felt symptoms that I was pregnant although I knew I wasn’t pregnant,” says Kellie.

It took a year of blood tests and questions for the shocking result. “We took our youngest daughter with us and she was in the room when they told me I had breast cancer.  Because I went in thinking that was not going to be the case,” she says. 

In  June of 2018, Kellie began the fight against a disease that strikes one in eight women.  She was diagnosed with stage one invasive ductal carcinoma. She had a double mastectomy and 12 rounds of chemotherapy–  finishing in November..     

 She used a system called “Cold Capping” to preserve her hair at the urging of a friend, her husband, but especially her daughters.   “My daughters begged me to please save my hair.  That was a big thing for them,” Kellie says. 

For each of Kellie’s 12 chemo treatments, she used the Arctic Cold Cap system.  Wearing ice cold, tight fitting caps stored in dry ice to minus 25 degrees, to freeze her hair follicles and keep the chemo drugs away. — changing the caps every 20 minutes for 8 hours each time. Arctic is one of about a half a dozen companies in the U-S offering cold caps for rent to cancer patients.  Ciro D’Angelo is CEO– He says cold capping is a patient’s choice.  ” They essentially order the caps and then they conduct treatment on the days they have chemotherapy,” D’Angelo says.    

D’Angelo says Cold Caps are 65 to 90% effective depending on the strength of the chemo drugs.  Patients treated for solid mass cancers like breast, ovarian, lung or liver are typically candidates.. Arctic charges $379 a month to rent eight caps and the supplies.. 

Breast cancer patient 39-year-old Anna Marthendal-Campbell of Easton is in the middle of her chemo treatments after finding a lump in her left breast in January . With her mother’s help, she demonstrates strapping on a cap. While chemo and cold capping isn’t easy– and after two rounds she has lost some hair, but she’s hoping it’s still worth it.  “For me it’s that I just kind of want life to be as normal as possible while it doesn’t feel very normal,” Anna says. 

Kellie Munro removed her last cold cap six months ago on November 26th, 2018.  Celebrating with her family and a nearly full head of hair.  A process she describes as long and tedious, but the right thing for her.  “I did it for.. Sorry.. primarily for my daughters.   But in the long run, I know that I helped me too,” she says.    

 While Kellie continues to undergo treatment, her intuition is leading the way.  Pushing her to get answers and receive treatment *her* way:  what’s best for her health, her family and her self esteem.  

Cold Caps are now covered by some insurance companies and there are grants available to some patients who need financial help. 

 For more information on Arctic Cold Caps follow this link:

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