CSN Login
Members Online: 10

Hair loss with ABVD

3eeeblunt
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2013

I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma stage 3A Oct 4 th 2013. I am currently on ABVD...minus the B because my lungs have not passed lung function test as I had pneumonia when this all started as well. They say however that won't effect anything. They also told me that I would lose my hair. I had hair down past the middle of my back and cut it into bob, it was falling out alot but no bald spots yet, so I cut it into pixie. It still falls out and my head hurts. I just had chemo number 3 on Friday and still have hair (thin but no bald spots). I also had two friends with same cancer that did not lose their hair. My question is am I safe to keep my hair or will it happen later?

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 465
Joined: Mar 2013

I'm not sure what you mean by "safe" to keep your hair. If you mean should you go ahead and shave your head, as is commonly done, that is entirely up to you.  Like you, I cut my hair very short. I chose not to shave my head. Technically, I did not lose all my hair, but I had so few hairs they probably could have been counted. I would not have gone out without a hat or wig and in fact even wore a hat at home--even to bed. My head was cold! And also very tender.

Hair loss is a very traumatizing side effect of chemo. Hearing someone say, "It will grow back" doesn't help. I did wind up with a collection of cute hats and beautiful scarves I still use. I did not like wearing a wig. Every time I looked at myself in the mirror, I felt like an imposter or like I was dressed up in a costume.

Most people with very long hair, like you, love their hair. I am sorry you are losing yours and I hope your chemo is going well otherwise.

Many (((hugs))) to you,

Rocquie

 

3eeeblunt
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2013

Thank you :) 

I guess by safe I mean could I still lose it, because I have many more treatments or is it going to be like what it is now? 

Dwalk15
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2009

My doctor told me I would lose my hair, but that it would come back, but maybe curly, or a different color, or "who knows." Well, I lost almost all of it durint my ABVD treatments. It was depressing to watch it go down the drain when it did, but I figured it this way...

Either it will grow back, or it won't. But I will be alive either way!

That was back in 1991. It mostly grew back, but I guess age took most of it back. But....I am alive!

Dwalk15
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2009

My doctor told me I would lose my hair, but that it would come back, but maybe curly, or a different color, or "who knows." Well, I lost almost all of it during my ABVD treatments. It was depressing to watch it go down the drain when it did, but I figured it this way...

Either it will grow back, or it won't. But I will be alive either way!

That was back in 1991. It mostly grew back, but I guess age took most of it back. But....I am alive!

beccajeanne791's picture
beccajeanne791
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2013

I was also diagnosed with stage 3a Hodgkins Lymphoma in Feburary of this year. I went through 8 chemos (ABVD) and my hair didnt start falling out until after the 4th treatment. I already had thin hair to begin with so I knew it wouldn't take much longer before it was all gone. It never fell out in clumps though, it was usually just a few strands here and there. I got myself a wig (which I've grown to love) and finally decided to shave my head after my sixth treatment. I also heard of people not losing their hair which is why I waited so long to get rid of it.  Chemo effects everyone differently so you never really know what's gonna happen. 

Hope this is helpful and good luck with your treatments! :)

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1025
Joined: May 2012

3eeeblunt,

I did six cycles (12 infusions, or six months of therapy) on abvd. My hair ALL fell out shortly after the second infusion.  I became totally hairless -- even my eyebrows and eyelashes were gone. Most abvd users lose it all, but as you are reading here, there are variations of that.  My texture after it grew back in was fine, like baby hair, which is totally unlike the coarse, rough texture that it had before. Mine is also thinner than at the beginning, and I have a friend whose sister never regained much of her hair after chemo, but that is very rare.

You mentioned the Bleomycin.  It tore me up !  I developed lung toxicitcy, which I still have traces of today, 4 years after treatment. During treatment I was so short of breath that I had to stay in bed, and panted like a dog at times to get enough oxygen.  I could not walk more than perhaps 50 feet most of the time, without nearly fainting.  Your doc was wise to keep you from taking it, since people with pre-existing lung problems often have a terrible time from the side-effects it can cause.  About 10% of all users develop lung toxicity as I did, and around 1 % go on to develop fibrosis and die (it never caused me fibrosis).  A report on Bleomycin side-effects:

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/bleomycin-side-effects.html

Focus on the fact that abvd is usually extremely effective.

 

Best of luck to you ! Chime in often,

max

3eeeblunt
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2013

Thank you all! I know there are so many variations of side effects for everyone, I ended up in hospital for a week after first treatment, My body did not do well. But the Drs have tweeked things and I'm starting to get the hang of it. I am resigned to the fact that I will probably end up shaving my head when it gets noticably thin (its on its way now) With all that is falling out I am shocked I still have it. But I have held on and I mentally prepared so I don't think it will be as devasting as I initially thought. I feel I am lucky to have a "good" cancer and in 6 months I will be looking back at all of this! Thanks again for everyone's input it definitely helps :)

beccajeanne791's picture
beccajeanne791
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2013

You are so welcome! You honestly have the exact same mindset I had about losing my hair.  I wasn't ready to shave it off in the beginning because I knew I wasn't mentally ready. As time passed, I slowly became okay with the idea of not having any hair.... I mean it grows back and there was nothing I could do about it so one night I just shaved it off! It was actually a lot of fun.  You seem like a strong and positive girl so keep those spirits high :)

Bill_NC's picture
Bill_NC
Posts: 108
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi, I was reading your profile, and was wondering what type of HL you had, Mine was NLPHL , stage 3A. Had 12 treatment of ABVD but no radiation and was wounder why yours has only 8 treatment.

Although mine was clear after the 8th treatment. Also I read in your profile about the oxygen treatment. which totally new to me. Is it something you take during the treatment or after you done with treatment. I really like to know more about it, and how it's been administrated.

Thanks

 

Cole74
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi there I had ABVD in 1987 - 88 for HD Stage 3A, lost all my hair. However shortly after I finished treatment it started to grow back. My hair came back in almost exactly as what I had before perfectly straight, just a little lighter.

 

Nicole

Aaron's picture
Aaron
Posts: 237
Joined: Jun 2012

Mine was to the middle of my back As well when I started treatment. I just cut it off and donated it before it could fall out. It turned out the only hair I lost was my eyebrows and one other spot that decorum doesn't allow me to mention. Let's just say my wife thought I should start wearing leiderhosen ;)

sureshwani
Posts: 23
Joined: Aug 2013

I too lost hairs during the treatment. But after the treatment they have started growing back on the head. eye brows hairs came back immediately.

Suresh

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network