How To Learn About Hair Loss Caused by Chemotherapy

Woman with hair loss

Being diagnosed with any type of cancer is a life altering situation. Finding out that the chemotherapy treatment that will be used as part of the treatment plan will cause hair loss is another life altering situation. Not all chemotherapy medications cause hair loss but many will. The ray of light in this situation is that the majority of people suffering from hair loss due to chemotherapy will get their hair back once the treatment stops, although it may take a little time. Many people that have had severe hair loss due to chemotherapy are surprised that their hair will oftentimes come in thicker then it was to begin with, or it may come in a slighter lighter or darker shade then it was before the treatment. There are many cases in which the person that had very straight hair ends up with very curly hair or vice-versa.

Hair loss caused by chemotherapy happens because the ingredients in the medication kills the cells in the hair follicles. Hair follicles include some of the fastest growing cells in the body. Chemotherapy is made to kill fast growing cells therefore it tends to kill these cells along with attacking the cancer cells. Thankfully the hair follicles rejuvenate themselves when the therapy is stopped so the hair loss is very rarely permanent. Many patients only suffer from their hair thinning when they are receiving chemotherapy but others will suffer from entire hair loss including body hair.

Many individuals that are receiving chemotherapy treatment and are having hair loss choose to get their hair cut very short before the treatments start. Many also choose to wear a wig while going through the chemo treatments, while others don't seem to be bothered by the loss of hair. It seems that women are most affected emotionally by hair loss caused by chemotherapy. Knowing in advance that the type of chemo treatment you will be receiving will cause hair loss will give you time to find a well made wig if you wish to. There are many very nice wigs available currently that can be made to match your hair type and color. If you aren't interested in wearing a wig during your chemotherapy treatments you may choose to purchase a wide variety of hats or bandanas. Many cancer treatment clinics offer hats or unique looking bandanas free of charge.

One chemotherapy medication that is known to cause hair loss in nearly everyone that receives it is the brand called Etopocide. Another type is called Taxotere. The third type commonly known to cause hair loss is Taxol. There are a few chemotherapy medications that rarely cause hair loss including the brand known as Carboplatin. Another that doesn't seem to cause as much hair loss is known as Cisplatin.


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