I always thought the saying “Hair today, gone tomorrow” related to men. That’s not the case. It turns out that as we go through menopause, women can experience thinning of their follicles.
According to MedlinePlus , which is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, the average scalp has 100,000 hairs and each person loses approximately 100 hairs daily. Each hair grows an average of about half an inch a month and grows on average for 2-6 years. After a cycle of rest, the hair falls out and a new strand begins to grow in its place. Approximately 85% of your hair is in the growth phase, while the other 15% is in the resting phase.
So let's look at hair loss. “The main difference between male and female hair loss is that in women, hair follicles are rarely damaged, which means when the cause of the hair loss is addressed, hair can often regrow,” Barbara Seaman and Laura Eldridge write in the...
You've been diagnosed with breast cancer. Your oncologist says you need chemo. Your first thought? "I'm going to go bald!" Well, possibly not; and being prepared for hair loss, both practically and emotionally, is your best antidote to fear and depression.
1. Find out if hair loss is a side effect of the drugs you're taking.
Some of the chemotherapy drugs prescribed for breast cancer are almost guaranteed to make you bald. Adriamycin, for example, causes complete hair loss, at least on top of your head; you may keep your eyebrows and eyelashes.
Methotrexate, on the other hand, is a lot gentler to your hair; while you may suffer some thinning, chances are you won't lose your hair completely.
How do you know if the specific drugs you're receiving will make you bald? Well, you can't know for sure; we all have our own personal reaction to chemo. But ask your doctor for a complete list of the known side effects of your chemo drugs; this will at least give you a start...
Arimidex is the most common hormone therapy drug taken by post-menopausal breast cancer survivors. We’re warned about sore and aching bones and joints, the danger of osteoporosis… but no one ever seems to mention the drug’s affect on your hair, and for many of us, it’s the most irritating side effect of all.
Side effects. When you go through breast cancer treatment, you quickly learn the meaning of those two simple words. And you find out that each treatment you undergo has its very own list of side effects. For chemotherapy , which has the most prolific array of accompanying side effects (and after effects, and lasting effects), challenges can range from commonplace (nausea, hair loss); to possible ( “Taxol toes,” the annoying and sometimes debilitating tingling accompanying taxane drugs); to rare (new cancers, cardiac events, death). For radiation, side effects are fewer, and generally less serious; although painful burns and extreme fatigue a...
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