Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss?
Posted on 1st May 2020 at 12:00
Hair loss is a highly common side effect seen in cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, and to several patients, this could be a point of major concern.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that works by actively targeting any rapidly growing cells found within the body, like those in a tumour. Unfortunately, hair follicles are also a highly active structure that are, similarly to a tumour, made up of cells that frequently divide; this is what causes hair to grow. As the majority of chemotherapy drugs aim to kill all rapidly dividing cells, our hair is seen to also suffer the consequences, being impacted alongside the cancer cells.
Some chemotherapy drugs will only affect the hair on your head, while others can cause the loss of eyelash and eyebrow hairs, and even leg and arm hair.
The extent of an individual’s hair loss will depend upon the kind of chemotherapy drug that is used throughout their cancer treatment, as well as for how long it is used for. The varying classes of chemo drug are all seen to produce varying reactions. While the use of Adriamycin as a drug to treat cancer may cause complete hair loss to the head, only some women experience the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, Taxol is commonly the cause of complete hair loss in all patients that this drug is used to treat.
However, there are also treatment options that only cause minimal hair loss, Methotrexate only thinning the hair; it is rare to see complete hair loss from the use of Methotrexate.
While many patients may find the idea of losing their hair a distressing thought, most will see their full head of hair return once their treatment is completed. However, if you find yourself suffering from prolonged issues of hair loss as a result of chemotherapy long after your treatment is over, what can you do to resolve this problem and regain a full head of hair? A hair transplant can act as a great hair loss treatment for those facing this situation, as the minimally invasive procedure works by masking any effects of hair loss or hair thinning to provide long-lasting, natural-looking results.
If you find yourself suffering from hair loss long after your treatment has been completed, and are looking for a solution, why not visit out dedicated hair loss treatment page and discover what our hair loss clinic can do to help restore your confidence.
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