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Hair loss with FOLFOX & Avastin?

KFen725's picture
KFen725
Posts: 108
Joined: Jul 2009

Hello!

I'm getting conflicting info on this in regards to my mom's chemo for her Stage IV Colon cancer, so I thought I'd ask some folks with experience - did you lose your hair with FOLFOX & Avastin treatments? My mom just started today. Actually, she is just on FOLFOX this time around, but will be adding Avastin in 2 weeks.

Thanks for any experiences you can offer!

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I'm going to be 59 in December and have always had baby fine hair. The photo I use is from July 4th. As you can see, I still have my hair and that was after my 10th treatment with FOLFOX. (Stage III and never used Avastin)

I do have one online friend who lost her hair, eyebrows, eye lashes and many other problems from day 1 but it was later discovered she has a rare condition which causes 5-FU to almost kill her!

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

I have been on different Chemos for the last 10 months and thought I avoided the Hair loss side-effect. However, my most current chemo included Avastin and suddenly my Hair is very thin and getting thinner. I am not sure if baldness will eventually occur. I am currently done with chemo until after liver surgery so time shall tell. Best of luck to your mother.

Regards,

Mike

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Thinning only. It stopped when I had surgery, since no chemo, but now with chemo again can see the thining starting a bit, but my hair has started to fill in also.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Another one for thinning right here. Folfox / Avastin / Xeloda did not cause me to lose my hair or go bald. Not sure why, since it's supposed to, but got lucky.

luv3jay's picture
luv3jay
Posts: 534
Joined: May 2009

Mine just thinned in the front. I keep mine short anyway, so it was not noticable at all.

KFen725's picture
KFen725
Posts: 108
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks all for your personal experiences. I appreciate it & will pass it on to mom. She is only 61 and has a full head of beautiful hair, so I am praying that she will get to keep it. One less annoyance with cancer, right?

I am thankful for this board and SO glad I found it!!

qwe
Posts: 125
Joined: Jan 2009

I had 5-Fu from Jan 20 to Feb 26 Monday - Friday and radiations Monday - Friday had the pump for chemo then surgery March 26 and had a colostomy now I am starting to
lose my hair don't know why so I called my chemo Dr to see if he could give me more
blood work to see why I am losing my hair well it is thinning out I have to wipe
it out of the sink after I brush my hair and I have short hair.Don't know if it is a
delayed reaction to chemo.OH sorry didn't mean to hijack your post but I was just relating.

dmdwins
Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

My hair started falling out in huge clumps after the second treatment. It was very hard emotionally and I just decided to have my friend(she owns a wellness salon) shave the rest off. Don't know if it all would have fallen out eventually on its own or not.

Smiles,
Dawn

pluckey's picture
pluckey
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

I am losing hair slowly..my hair is super thin and you can see my scalp. I have short hair, but I am getting bummed about the hairloss. I'm on 5FU, leucavorin, campostaer and erbatux

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Pluckey

Just a quick question? Why do they have you doing Camptosar instead of Oxaliplatin? The Oxy is the 3rd generation chemo. I'm just curious as to that protocol. Thank you.
Craig

pluckey's picture
pluckey
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm not sure.s oxiplantin another name for something? I may be on that too, I need to asco onco.
I'm also in process of collecting med records for 2nd opinons

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Peggy

Oxaliplatin also is known as ELOXATIN. This is the 3rd generation and the latest chemo drugs.
They are in the Carboplatin and Cisplatin family.

Camptosar is a different class of chemo drugs from the 2nd generation.

-Craig

chicoturner's picture
chicoturner
Posts: 285
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi, I was on Oxi and folfox and my thin hair just thinned. I am now on Avastin and Irionotecan and my hair started coming out a lot. I couldn't stand it so had it buzzed. perhaps not all of it would have come out but it was ugly! Now that I am used to it and the weather is good (hot) I let it get to about 1/2-3/4 inch on top(very thin and white...)
and use blue spiker gel in it for some pep! I can at least control the color!! It also allows people to comment comfortably and I have had lots of fun with it! Those that don't get that it is fun...well to bad! Enjoy what you have!!! Jean

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I lost some hair but still had a full head to comb. The major difference was my hair itself changed character, I always had thick hair and the chemo made it (the hair strand itself) fine. I would have traded the whole head for a cold beverage some days.

Mike

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

I have always had baby fine hair and not much of it either. I am on the oxi, 5FU and leu??? something, plus steroids. Mine has thinned but not everytime I wash it. I notice that when I comb my hair I have to pull the hair out of the comb which bums me out because I have very thin hair anyway. I was told that my hair would only thin, not that I would lose it.

Kim

karafranny's picture
karafranny
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2009

hi,

im on folfox chemo just have had 2 cycles. my hair started thinning before i started chemo about a month after my surgery. my doctor said it could be many factors stress on my body from a major surgery, coumadin, nutritional deficientcy, chemo???????

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi,

I never lost my hair. When I was on Folfox (5FU, leucovorin, oxalyplatin) with Avastin, my hair started to thin slightly toward my 9th or 10th treatment of it. I believe it was the effect of taking the 5FU over time. More recently, when I had a recurrence and started taking irinotecan (also called CPT-11 or Camptosar), my hair did thin quite a bit on the temples and down by my neck. Fortunately, I have always had a thick head of hair, so no one really noticed much, except maybe my family and my hairdresser. It's since come back- I have hairs on my head that are now about 2-1/2 inches long, but no one can notice it (I do use a balm to smooth some of the hairs down that want to stick up along my part on top of my head). I've been off of the irinotecan since early April, but just started back on it yesterday. I won't be surprised if I start to feel that tingly, sore feeling on my scalp again (which is what usually happens preceding hair loss). I've actually had that feeling in the past a few times when no hair came out at all.

Everyone is different- some lose their hair and some don't on these chemos. Not like the "for sure" hair loss that people experience while taking chemos for many other types of cancers. I guess we're "lucky" in that sense.

Wishing your mother all the best-
Lisa

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...hair thinnned alot on Folfiri! as you can see in my pic, my hair is now shoulder length, and looks like crapola! I am thinking of investing in a wig again, since I have 5 more treatments to go. Clumps of hair would come out in the shower, and it was very heartbreaking, but I know it will grow back, it already is (gray though LOL) I really need to color it, but will wait for that for when treatment is over.

Janet3
Posts: 61
Joined: Aug 2009

Both of my moms' oncologist stated emphatically 'the best thing about FOLFOX is that it doesn't have the side effect of hair loss'. She is 61, dx Stage IV 30JUNE09, chemo treatment #1 on 03AUG09, 25% of her hair fell out 09AUG09 and has continued to fall out throughout the week. Luckily, my mom couldn't care less about her hair, even though it was very pretty. She says 'life is more important than hair'. Wow! My mom is amazing! Good luck to your mom. You all will remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Janet

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

I went from a full head of thick long hair to it being so thin my scalp was showing.

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

I am on 5FU, leucavorin and Avastin now but was on oxi for the first 8 treatments. After the first Avastin treatment my hair started falling out in clumps. I would wake up to a pillowcase covered in hair, hair came out in the shower and when I brushed. So I just had my husband shave it all off. We had a day of it with my husband, daughter and son shaving their heads too. I'm kind of glad, because I went through three months of not eating and not feeling like getting out of bed, so having no hair to worry about helped a lot.

Debbie

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

My scalp is beginning to show. Ugh! I called the local Cancer Society Office. They have free wigs, turbans, headbands, hats, etc. I am going next week to check it out. By the way, they also have free depends, supplements, etc.

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

My husband has shaved his head for years. He has always hated shaving everyday. He was looking forward to not having to shave is head or his face. No such luck for him he didn't loose any. If it was me I would lose it all. I have MS and have had steroids a bunch of times and my hair falls out with that. I have asked others and some say they do and some don't so I think it just depends on how it works on you. Best of luck Paula

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I never lost my hair although the texture changed and it thinned.

kristasplace's picture
kristasplace
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Hello! My hair thinned a lot on the folfox, but a few months after i ended my treatments, i noticed my hair was thicker than ever! It was always sort of thin and mousey, and now it's even got some natural wave to it. This was one of the best (or only best) things that came out of chemo for me. Am i the only one?? lol!

Oh, also, i've heard great things about Nioxin (sp?) shampoo for thinning hair. I've never tried it myself, but if thinning hair is a big concern, i would try it.

Good luck to your Mum!
Krista

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