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Cayman Islands hospital offers free hair loss reduction technology for chemo patients

CAYMAN ISLANDS (October 30, 2018) – As the world observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Health City Cayman Islands is offering breast cancer and other solid tumor cancer patients an opportunity to reduce chemotherapy-induced hair loss through the use of a machine called DigniCap.

According to Health City oncologist Dr. Vineetha Binoy, DigniCap is the first automated scalp-cooling system approved by the FDA to treat chemotherapy-induced hair loss. And while it’s being used in all major cancer treatment centers in the United States, this is the first time the machine is being used in the Caribbean region for patients who would otherwise have to cope with the devastating effects of hair loss.

She explained that scalp cooling works by constricting the blood vessels which supply hair follicles and because of this “chemotherapy doesn’t reach hair follicles, thereby preventing damage to them.”

DigniCap replaces a manual cold cap system that Health City used for about two years courtesy of a donation from the Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Foundation. The new DigniCap, which circulates cool air around the scalp while the patient is seated during chemotherapy, does not have to be changed manually every 25 minutes, thereby improving patient comfort significantly.

In the United States, the cost of Dignicap treatment is estimated to be $300 to $600 a month which amounts to a total cost of $1,500 to $3,000 for the course of treatment. Since health insurance companies do not approve it universally as yet, for most patients this is an out-of-pocket expenditure. However, Health City provides this service to all of its patients totally free of any cost.

The Health City oncologist noted that a cancer diagnosis is “often the lowest point in anybody’s life when they have no control over any aspect of what’s happening (regarding) their treatment … cold capping is a personal choice and the option of preserving their hair and not to have a wig or to go bald essentially gives them a sense of control over what’s happening.” In addition to boosting the patient’s self-esteem, Dr. Binoy said “it has been found to help patients cope with chemotherapy better.”

The oncologist cautioned that the benefit of cold capping doesn’t extend to all patients or all chemo regimens “but is beneficial only to a select number of patients for certain chemotherapy regimens and cancers. It is not for everybody – it is not a universal solution but is a solution or option for a lot of patients.”


Photo: Dr. Vineetha

Caption: Dr. Vineetha Binoy, Medical Oncologist at Health City Cayman Islands

Photo: Nurses and patients

Caption: Nurses in Health City’s Oncology Day Care Unit demonstrate the use of the DigniCap system


About Health City Cayman Islands

Health City Cayman Islands, the vision of renowned heart surgeon and humanitarian Dr. Devi Shetty, is supported by Narayana Health, one of India’s largest private healthcare systems. Health City, only the second hospital in the Caribbean to receive the Joint Commission International’s “hospital accreditation”, provides compassionate, high-quality, affordable healthcare services in a world-class, comfortable, patient-centered environment. Offering healthcare to local, regional and international patients, Health City Cayman Islands delivers excellence in adult and pediatric cardiology, cardiac surgery, cardiac electrophysiology, medical oncology, orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatric endocrinology, gastrointestinal and bariatric surgery, neurology, interventional neurology and neuro-diagnostics, neurosurgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, gynecology, urology, pediatric allergies, colorectal surgery, dental, sleep lab and pulmonology services.

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