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hair loss on chemo?

ccartwri's picture
ccartwri
Posts: 82
Joined: Jul 2005

I was wondering if anyone has experienced hair loss on chemo? I have been on 5 of 6 weeks of neoadjuvant chemoradiation before my surgery in late August (although I have been off of my Xeloda chemo for about 2.5 weeks of it. ) I have v ery long dark hair and will likely be having folfox after surgery. has anyone experienced hair loss on folfox???
during my neoadjuvant chemo with xeloda, i have not experienced hair loss but have experienced my leg hair getting extremely coarse. I shave with a new blade and it looks like i shaved two days ago.

my concern is really the head hair loss. i have to admit i am quite vain about my pretty and long hair. i am so distressed and sad so much, i think hair loss would push me over the edge.
claudia

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1212
Joined: Jun 2005

Hi Claudia -

I'll be starting chemo on Monday - Xeloda, oxaliplatin and Avastin. All of my docs (internist, oncologist and surgeon) say there should be no head hair loss. Literature provided to me and on the net also suggests the same. I think with all the things we have to worry about, we can cross hair loss off the list for now.

Interested in your NIH experience. Post-chemo I may also be involved in an NIH trial involving treatment following liver resection. Do you live in DC area or is this a trial conducted elsewhere?

Anyway, I am getting way ahead of myself as chemo just starts next week!

ccartwri's picture
ccartwri
Posts: 82
Joined: Jul 2005

Betsy:
Hi! Yeah. I live in College Park, MD. How about you? Up until I had my little girl in April, I was a veterinarian at College Park Animal Hospital part time as well as working for the USDA. The NIH experience has been really great. I do not remember...do you have rectal or colon cancer?
email me if you want: ccartwri@jhsph.edu
to chat offline.
I am glad hair loss does not seem prominent as I think that would be really hard for me besides all the other difficult aspects of this horrible disease.
Claudia

Joeswife
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2005

Hello there,
I'm new to the site. My husband, Joe was (and is again) on FolFox- no hair loss.
Barb

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1212
Joined: Jun 2005

Hi Claudia - I live in Silver Spring. (I'll save your email.) (Cancer is colon.)

Sounds like we have something else in common. For the last 4 years I have been very slowly studying vet technology in Purdue's distance learning program (wish I had pursued the vet school dream 30 years ago!) - so I got this crazy idea to retire from my real job (the one that actually pays!) and work as a registered tech. That probably won't happen, but I love the course material and just registered for a course this fall - determined not to let this thing keep me away from what I enjoy.

Betsy

ccartwri's picture
ccartwri
Posts: 82
Joined: Jul 2005

Great. I have heard of the Purdue vet tech program. Congrats. Keep at it. You are close, in Silver Spring. Do you attend the ACS support group in Silver Spring or in Kensington? I think it is once a month on a Thursday and was last week and did not make it.
Claudia

Katherinee
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2005

Hello, I'm new to this site. Experiencing my first (and hopefully only) recurrence. I had almost two months of Folfox in 2003 and lost about half of my hair. It too is long and dark. Most people said they barely noticed, but I had to have my hair cut a little shorter and layered because my white scalp showed through. People who didn't know me wouldn't have even known at all. Hope this helps. I'll be starting back on Folfox in late August. I was REALLY distressed about any possible hair loss the first time around too. This time not so much.

Kathy

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Claudia,

I cannot lie; you could get some hair thinning. I do not know if it is 5FU driven or not, because people with Oxy have had it too. But it should not be long-term.....and not your whole head...just thinning.
All the best,
Maura

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I had no hair loss on 5FU + leucovorin -- a little bit of thining, which only my hairdresser and I noticed. But, I am on FOLFOX now, and am loosing a lot of hair, after only 2 rounds (10 to go). From what i have read and heard, shd be only thinning not total hair loss. But, I'm loosing a lot each day. Exploring wig options, just in case. I agree with others -- this cuts close to the bone -- it's hard for me to even think about. Vain, I know, but it's very emotional.
Tara

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

I had minimal hair loss with my chemo. Every time I would shower I would see large amount coming off, but I have always been a shedder.

My hairdresser rec to NOT do hairdrying, or chemical treatments. I also cut my hair off to reduce the stress on my hair. No one even noticed any difference. In picture from my chemo days, you cant notice any change. I have pretty fine, but LOTS of hair.

FOr you, just don't color/perm your hair. Take it day by day. If it starts to be a problem, consider a trim. :)

Gotta tell ya, once I finished chemo, MY HAIR GROWS SO FAST IT DRIVES ME CRAZY. I already look so young people have trouble taking me seriously, and I am a pretty tiny person (OK, I am short). So I don't like long hair because it makes me look about 13 yrs. old.

SOOO try not to worry. Keep the long beautiful hair. If it thins alot to where it is noticeable, get it cut. Just use mild hair products. You have too many other things to worry about. This ones a piece of cake. :)

Be well and strong. jana

HisJoy's picture
HisJoy
Posts: 115
Joined: Feb 2005

I've been on FOLFOX plus Avastin since February - 9 treatments so far and only have experienced some hair thinning. I cut my hair VERY SHORT, however, and so I'm not sure if that impacted the hair loss or not. Most of my pals who are also getting FOLFOX still have their hair, too, but none of them has long hair to start with.

In the meantime, I have EIGHT WIGS of varying styles and colors and I have a blast with them, so even if your hair falls out, grin and enjoy it!

ccartwri's picture
ccartwri
Posts: 82
Joined: Jul 2005

THANK YOU so much for the replies.
Any good suggestions for wigs online or in the Washington DC area if I start to have a prob????
Claudia

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