Breast cancer patients often endure difficult treatment. Many undergo chemotherapy as well as surgery and radiation to remove tumors and kill residual cancer cells. Chemotherapy is notoriously difficult to endure, and the chemo treatment for breast cancer is particularly trying. To make things worse, you are likely to lose your hair. Fortunately, you have options to deal with this unpleasant side effect.
Chemo and Hair Loss
The chemotherapy used to treat breast cancer often leads to hair loss. That’s because the drugs attack all rapidly dividing cells, even the healthy ones. Hair cells generally divide every 23 to 72 hours, which makes them a prime target for the chemotherapy. After starting your treatment, you can expect to lose a significant amount of hair from your head. Some chemo drugs will also cause you to lose your facial and body hair. If you receive a large dose of drugs every three to four weeks, your hair loss will probably be more dramatic than if you receive smaller doses more often.
Some patients limit their hair loss by using cooling caps. These devices circulate cold liquid through the cap section before, during and after your chemotherapy to induce scalp hypothermia. This condition slows your blood circulation, keeping much of the chemo from your hair follicles. Studies have shown that patients using the newer systems saw a significant reduction in hair loss.
Other Hair Strategies
Some patients simply shave their heads when their hair begins to fall out and wear a scarf or a wig in public. Many cancer support groups offer wigs for free to breast cancer sufferers. Some wigs are made from human hair so you can find flattering options. If you do retain some of your hair, a short cut by an experienced hairstylist can give you maximum volume.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time when information about the disease is especially easy to find. Remember, make the choices about your cancer that work for you, and that includes what to do about your hair. A beautiful, natural-looking wig removes just one of the challenges you’re facing as you battle illness. Contact Custom Hair Tampa Bay, and find what works for you by clicking here.
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