Cancer Treatments and Hair Loss

Hair loss (alopecia) is a common and usually temporary, but often very distressing, side effect of chemotherapy.

CancerIndex has split out information on chemotherapy related alopecia onto a dedicated page:

As well as links to guides on this topic the page also includes an NHS Choices video in which Jessica, a breast cancer patient, describes how the hair loss affected her. The video also includes expert advice from HeadStrong Coordinator Tansy Bateman.

The page also pulls in research abstracts from PubMed. Boughton et al.¬† interviewd Australian women who described alopecia as the most distressing corporeal feature of the ovarian cancer experience. In an earlier study Hilton et al. asked the question “Have men been overlooked?” and found that¬†both women and men had negative (and often similar) feelings about hair loss. There are a few published studies on scalp cooling to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy, with mixed success. van den Hurk et al report on results of the Dutch Scalp Cooling Registry, involving 1411 chemotherapy patients.