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Scalp itching!!

Mtnhottie's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2009

I had a double mastectomy on Oct 21st with reconstructive surgery (expanders). I started chemo on Dec 2nd (cytoxen, methotrexate, 5FU) - my scalp has been itching for the past 8 days (even the inside of my ears and nose). Is this a precursor to my hair falling out?? I did shave my legs last Friday (11th) and have yet to get any stubble or hair growth since which is kind of nice. My next chemo is Monday the 21st. Just curious about the time table hair loss. Oncologist said I may not lose my hair, but his nurse said I probably would ???

MyTurnNow's picture
Posts: 2690
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi, Mtnhottie and welcome. I didn't have the exact same chemo as you, I had cytoxan and taxotere and I lost my hair around day 14. It did start with itching but also hair started coming out in bunches. Before the clumps started, I had my head buzzed. As I recall, a side effect of cytoxan is hair loss. Good luck to you!!

teresa41's picture
Posts: 471
Joined: Jun 2009

i had cytoxan and taxotere dr told me my hair would be gone and he was right i had itching and my head got real sore it took about 17 days after first chemo it started falling out i had it all shaved off. best of luck to you!

mimivac's picture
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Mtn, yes it may be related to hair loss or hair thinning. Some ladies don't lose all of it, but it does thin. I lost everything around the second week after my first chemo, but had no itching. It simply started falling out. Good luck. It's not easy to go through all these changes. Feel free to post about how you are feeling, both physically and emotionally.


meena1's picture
Posts: 1005
Joined: Oct 2008

My scalp did not itch when i lost my hair, it was more of a tingling sensation. Very creepy. Mostly, my hair came out in the shower. My cousin told me, so don't take a shower!. But, i think it would have came out anyway. Get your hat ready,

tommaseena's picture
Posts: 1771
Joined: Feb 2009

I started chemo on 3/10 and on 3/25 it was falling out in clumps.
I never had any sensation on my scalp--only noticed hair falling out in the shower in clumps--my hands were full. Next day I had my head shaved and when washing my hair before the shave I closed my eyes because I didn't want to see any more hair loss.


crselby's picture
Posts: 441
Joined: Oct 2009

Is it possible for the hair regrowth to come back in without the gray?

Sher43009's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Nov 2009

I had A/C chemo every 2 weeks and my hair came out 3 days after my 2nd treatment. I put aloe gel on my head to keep the scalp soft and had no itching. Hope it helps.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I had CMF chemo, 15 years ago I did not lose my hair it thinned. I do not remember the scalp itchiness.

mizcaldwell's picture
Posts: 143
Joined: Oct 2009

There are often allergic reactions to the chemotherapy agents - and if the itching is more than just the top of your head (my scalp hurt - not itched), I'd call the doctor to see if they would recommend an anti-allergy med. Bendadryl would work, but it makes you sleepy - you could try the topical cream for your head - but I don't know about the other sites!

Don't hesitate to call the onc. - or the nurses - they will give you advice.


Kathy09's picture
Posts: 99
Joined: Jun 2009

Your nurse is most likely right. I had the same symptoms and the hair was on its way out. My oncologist always said it might happen, on a few things. Personally, I got all the up front straight truth from the nurses giving the chemo treatment, just ask them, they see and deal with the symptoms daily and first hand. I think the oncologists don't want to "detour" you from getting treatments. Hope this helps.

shortscake's picture
Posts: 228
Joined: Nov 2009

My hair has start to come out and my scalp hurts only in the back,when i wash it more comes out i guess its from the chemo. I was told that my hair would thin.if you find out anything that would help please post.

Lynda53's picture
Posts: 210
Joined: Oct 2009

He was right on, I have had not had chemo for 6 weeks+/- it is coming back, but chemo starts again soon, so out it comes!
I had thinning, not loss, but lotsa thinning
Good luck, cut it short, it is gross in the shower falling out!


tasha_111's picture
Posts: 2081
Joined: Oct 2008

Tax = Bald........... sorry hun, it soon grows back, better than before.,. Hugz Jzz

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

Kathy I could never express it correctly with the oncologists not wanting to detour you from getting treatment, but that was always my feeling.

Mtnhottie's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2009

Thanks everyone for your comments. I've come to the conclusion that you can have 5 people on the same treatment and every single one of them will have different results from the treatment. I'm okay with the hair loss - just anxious about when it will happen. There are so many unknowns during this whole process - is the tumor cancer? when is surgery? has it spread? when does treatment start? how will I react? etc. etc. I'm the type that needs to know what is going on and what to expect. There seem to be too many variables with cancer. One of my friends told me that her sister was sick like the next day after chemo around 1:00 in the afternoon. So I sat around the day after my first treatment waiting for "1:00" - crazy waste of time :) I didn't see the affects until 5 days later!! What a wonderful forum this is thanks for the comments. Love and hugs to all :)

aztec45's picture
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2009

My head didn't itch prior to losing my hair. It itched once I started losing it. In fact, I got what they call scalp acne. I am using some medicated shampoo by Neutragena to conrol that. It will get better.


donna volkswagen
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

I started cmf chemo sept 25 2009 i will be done with it thank God feb 19 2010. my scalp was very itchy but so far i've been very lucky i did not lose any of my hair not yet anyway and everyone said it would be in the first two or three treatments i hope you are as lucky. sometimes i wonder thou if the chemo is working

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I had CMF 15 years a go did not lose my hair, and am being treated for a new primary.so I think it worked for me.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I had CMF 15 years a go did not lose my hair, and am being treated for a new primary.so I think it worked for me.

Posts: 33
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Mtn Hottie (cute name)
My scalp is itching like crazy today too, and I am 12 days out. I'm just going to have my husband shave it off tonight. You're on a different chemo mix than I am, so you've got lots of good advice from these gals. Do what feels right to you.
Good to hear about the aloe, for itching/discomfort afterwards.

Got a few wigs and sleeping caps ready? Remember, lots of ACS chapters have a good selection of free wigs!

Kind of cool to not have to shave your legs, huh?

Hang in there!!

Delta Green
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2016

I had my first chemo treatment for ovarian cancer on Wednesday and my scalp is already itching.  Guess that means my hair will begin to fall out very soon??

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2019

Did it all come out or just thin?

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