Cancer is characterized by an uncontrollable division of abnormal cells in the body, so chemotherapy aims to target and destroy those cells. Unfortunately, this results in the death of many healthy cells and tissues as well, since some types of cells naturally divide rapidly. This includes the cells of your scalp and hair, and patients of chemotherapy often experience hair loss because of this.
Thankfully as research progresses, side effects like hair loss are becoming more and more manageable. For example, new treatments are now able to be more precise in targeting specific cancer cells instead of attacking all cells that divide rapidly. This helps reduce hair loss that’s experienced by chemo patients. Many still use older drugs, so we’ve compiled a list of drugs and their effects on your hair:
- Adriamycin: Causes all hair on the head to be lost, sometimes including eyebrows and eyelashes.
- Methotrexate: Thins hair in some patients but not in others. Complete hair loss is rare.
- Cytoxan & 5-fluorouracil: Results in minimal hair loss in most patients, but can cause significant hair loss in some.
- Taxol: Often causes total hair loss over the entire body including head, eyebrows, eyelashes, legs, arms, and pubic area.
By understanding the effects of chemo treatments and drugs, you can be better equipped to discuss your best options with your doctor. We understand the emotional and physical difficulties cancer patients face, and we work with many patients who are experiencing minimal to severe hair loss. Our team will help you regain your confidence with comfortable and high-quality wigs and other options. Simply call us today at (800) 966-9505 to schedule your free consultation.