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Your Healthy Family: 1st patient uses DigniCap at UCHealth Memorial

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A new treatment just made available at UCHealth Memorial that can help women keep a good amount of their hair during chemotherapy. A new treatment just made available at UCHealth Memorial that can help women keep a good amount of their hair during chemotherapy.
COLORADO SPRINGS -

As we continue through October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month - we're talking about a new technology just made available at UCHealth Memorial that can help women keep a good amount of their hair during chemotherapy.

Tiffany Daniels was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in late August.  “I was given options. I could either have a lumpectomy, radiation and chemo; a mastectomy and chemo; or a double mastectomy and chemo, so any way I looked at it I was going to go through chemo.”

She chose to have a double mastectomy so she would only have to fight this battle once.  It’s a battle that for Tiffany came with many fears about her treatment and recovery.

Anne Varevice is a Registered Nurse on the outpatient infusion unit at UCHealth Memorial.  “I think a lot of the initial fears are very physiological, like how am I going to feel.  Am I going to be tired, am I going to be in bed all the time?  I think once we calm those fears and treatment begins, it becomes more about how can I keep living my life, how can I keep caring for my children, how can I keep going to work, and how can I keep doing all the things that I love that make me who I am.”

Often, a person’s identity includes their appearance, and for women, that often includes hair.  Now the DigniCap can help in that department.  

Tiffany is the first patient at Memorial to use it. “Honestly every step of the way there have been different fears.  ‘What about this, what about that, my gosh I'm going to lose my eyelashes.’ Looming was the loss of hair, more so because that just marks you as sick, you know everybody knows you're sick.  To me that was a big thing.  

We talked with Tiffany after her first round of chemotherapy, which included use of the DigniCap.  “It was very simply actually; they put like a swim cap on.  It goes over your head and it's very cold for the first 45 minutes.  After that it was tolerable, and you sit there for six hours, so it takes about two more hours than your normal chemo treatment time.  It was a little uncomfortable but it was doable.”

In our next Your Healthy Family we'll tell you more about the DigniCap - exactly how it works and helps save hair.  We’ll also tell you about a program Memorial has in place so that all patients can have the chance to afford the copay for the DigniCap treatment.

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