Why and How Hair Loss During Breast Cancer Treatment

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Breast cancer is deadly disease diagnosed in 140 of 184 countries worldwide. Once an individual is diagnosed with this fatal ailment he/she has to climb the long staircase of miseries. The pain of illness and fear of death is one story, but treatment to curb this disease is far more traumatic experience.

Chemotherapy is the only last hope to give the sufferer new life. This is most expensive and painful procedure with lots of side effects. Most crucial and heart breaking side effect is hair loss in cancer treatment.

Breast Cancer Treatment

Scientific reason behind hair forfeiture during chemotherapy is that , this process targets all rapidly developing healthy cells as well as cancer cells equally. If you are not a cancer patient going under chemo, your hair follicles divide every 23 to 72 hours.

Hair cells are most active cells in the human body, but as the breast cancer patient opt to get back to normal life through chemo, she will lose hairs within few weeks. This hair loss may be gradual or dramatic. During this treatment, patient may find clumps of hairs in hairs, a handful of hair while doing shampoo, or night pillow covered with hairs in the morning. All his phases is traumatic and heartbreaking for the victim. The affected person needs utmost care, love and attention during this phase. Family support is most important in this respect.

Hair Loss During Breast Cancer

Frequency of hair loss may vary from person to person. In some people it is greater as compared to others, depending on the following factors:

  • Type of chemotherapy
  • Type of drugs used during treatment
  • General health of patient
  • Strength of immune system of the patient
  • Stage of the disease and the timing of the drug used(monthly or maybe weekly)

Chemotherapy drugs and their impact:

  • Adriamycin: this is most strong medicine in this treatment, some women even lose their eye lashes and eye brows.
  • Methotrexate: this is mild medicine, therefore hair loss is rare if this is used during in cancer treatment.
  • Cytoxan and 5-fluorouracil: impact of these medicines varies from person to person, in some women hair loss is minimal while others lose hairs in clumps.
  • Taxol: this is stronger than Adriamycin as usage of this medicine during treatment result in complete hair loss.
  • Radiation: radiation on a particular part of the body also cause hair loss. Usually on head.