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WBR & Hair Loss

Posts: 38
Joined: Jun 2010

So today we had our regular appointment with the Oncologist for my Mom who has SCLC - extensive. She's completed her chemo (did great!)and whole brain radiation and is currently having chest radiation. Today was day 8 of 25 chest radiation treatments. We were chatting w/the doctor, giving her updates on side effects etc and I asked, when will her hair start to grow back?...After her chest radiation? Her answer, surprised us.. she said that one of the side effects of WBR is that your hair on your head will not grow back.. my mother then burst into tears... Is this true? Has anyone had their hair grow back after WBR? The doctor then said that every patient is different... It might grow back ...

stayingcalm's picture
Posts: 654
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Deb,
I had chemo that made me lose my hair, it grew back better than before. Then I had brain surgery, followed by WBR, and lost it again. It did begin to grow back, but the problem is now I'm on Tarceva, which affects my hair growth, so it came in kind of crazy. Shaved it off and tried again, and yes, it's coming back again, still sort of crazy because I'm still on Tarceva. My point being, if my hair keeps coming back even on the med I'm on and after the radiation abuse it took, it can come back for anyone!

Some would take this as a great opportunity to try the wigs they always wanted to wear, or turbans, or headwraps and the like ;-)

Take care, stayingcalm

Posts: 38
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, she too lost her hair due to the chemo. We got two wigs and several turbans, pretty scarves and headwraps which she's been wearing. She was mentally prepared to lose her hair (short term) and was fine with it saying that she'd do "whatever it takes" to beat the cancer. (She's had a great attitude). Yesterday, I asked the question because it looks like her hair is growing back in the crown area. (I wasn't sure if it would grow back faster once the chest radiation was completed.) The oncologist explained to us that with radiation, you only lose hair to the area being treated, but then said whole brain radiation might cause the hair loss to be permanent. This we didn't know, so it did catch us off-guard. The doctor reminded all of us of the big picture, saying how well she's doing now compared to back in May/June. We realize that life is bigger than your hair, it was just a bit of a shock, but you never know.. Her hair seems to be growing!..

Good luck to you! Thanks for sharing your experiance. It definately helps and is re-assuring to hear from others that have had similiar experiences.

PS - I hope this didn't post twice.. It looked like I lost what I typed at one point.. Deb.

karenbeth's picture
Posts: 194
Joined: Sep 2010

My boyfriend had WBR that ended in August and his hair hasn't grown back yet. A nurse told him the other day that hair grows back pretty quickly after chemo and takes longer to grow back after radiation.

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