Chemotherapy Hair Loss – Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Hair Loss Due to Cancer Treatments – Chemotherapy & Radiation Therapy
Types of Hair Loss
Photo Credit: National Cancer Institute
Chemotherapy Hair Loss & Cancer Treatments
Chemotherapy hair loss. A large majority of people experience hair loss due to Chemotherapy, radiation to the head, immunotherapy and endocrine therapy while undergoing treatments for cancer.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used in cancer treatment because they attack cancer cells which are fast growing, like a person’s hair. As a result, these treatments also attack hair cells, causing a person to lose their hair, both on the scalp and elsewhere on the body, including eyebrows and eyelashes, leg and arm hair, pubic hair and body hair.
In addition, radiation therapy to the head often results in hair loss to the scalp. Depending upon the dosage of radiation administered, scalp hair may never regrow, or if it does it may grow back differently from the way it grew prior to treatment.
Hair Regrowth After Treatment
Generally, once someone has finished their chemotherapy treatments, they should see their hair grow back, but this is not always the case.
Hair regrowth can take anywhere from three to six months and in many cases longer. How much hair loss a person experiences can vary widely depending upon the type and dosage of treatment as well as the timing of the treatments.
It is important to keep in mind also that hair may or may not regrow with the same thickness or density it had prior to treatment. It may grow back thinner, finer, or not as thick and full as it was before chemotherapy or radiation treatments were undertaken. It may be different also in terms of texture and color.
Hair loss, regardless of cause and degree of severity, can be emotionally traumatic, adding to the already stressful nature of cancer and cancer treatment. Most people consider their hair to be a huge part of their identity.
Custom Wigs for Cancer Patients
When anticipating chemotherapy or some other form of cancer treatment where your doctor has advised you that hair loss can be an expected side effect, it is recommended that you speak with a knowledgeable hair loss professional, who has experience in helping cancer patients.
A knowledgeable, professional hair loss clinic or hair replacement specialist can help you choose a custom wig or hair replacement system before you start treatment which will match your own natural hair color, density, and texture. This can help you keep your chemotherapy and other medical treatments completely private and away from prying eyes.
High quality medical grade hair prosthetics and human hair wigs specifically designed for people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments can help you regain your self-assurance, keep a positive self-image during treatment, and allow you to maintain a normal, healthy, active social and professional life with family, friends and colleagues who need never know that you are undergoing treatments.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
BreastCancer.Org – Side Effects: Hair Loss
The information contained on this website is provided on an “as is” basis for informational purposes only and is subject to our Website Terms and Conditions of Use and Medical Disclaimer.