Can having cancer make your hair fall out?

Hair loss is a common side effect of cancer treatment. Hair loss can happen as a side effect of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, or a stem cell (bone marrow) transplant. These cancer treatments can harm the cells that help hair grow.

What type of cancer causes hair loss?

Alopecia, or hair loss, occurs as a secondary result of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Both chemotherapy and radiation attack the rapidly growing cancer cells in your body. The treatment may also attack other normal, fast-growing cells, like the cells in your hair roots.

How do you prevent hair loss from cancer?

Scalp hypothermia is cooling the scalp with ice packs or cooling caps (cold caps) for a period of time before, during, and after each chemotherapy (chemo) treatment to try to prevent or reduce hair loss.

Can hair loss be a sign of something serious?

“That’s just hair going through its cycles, and there will be a new one to replace it.” But hair loss may be a sign of a more serious medical condition that needs an evaluation by a dermatologist and possible treatment.

Can hair loss be a sign of leukemia?

Rapidly dividing cells, such as hair follicle cells, are the most affected. This is why hair loss (alopecia) is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Hair loss can range from thinning to baldness. It may be sudden or slow.

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When should I worry about hair loss?

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you’re concerned about how much hair you are losing every day. A gradual thinning on the top of your head, the appearance of patchy or bald spots on your scalp, and full-body hair loss are signs that there may be an underlying health condition.

What illnesses can cause hair loss?

Medical conditions that can cause hair loss include: thyroid disease. alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that attacks hair follicles) scalp infections like ringworm.

Hair loss can also be due to medications used to treat:

  • cancer.
  • high blood pressure.
  • arthritis.
  • depression.
  • heart problems.

Is there a chemo where you don’t lose your hair?

No treatment exists that can guarantee your hair won’t fall out during or after chemotherapy. Several treatments have been investigated as possible ways to prevent hair loss, but none has been absolutely effective, including: Scalp cooling caps (scalp hypothermia).

How can I stop my hair loss?

You can follow a few hair hygiene tips to make your hair less likely to fall out.

  1. Avoid hairstyles that pull on the hair.
  2. Avoid high-heat hair styling tools.
  3. Don’t chemically treat or bleach your hair.
  4. Use a shampoo that’s mild and suited for your hair.
  5. Use a soft brush made from natural fibers. …
  6. Try low-level light therapy.
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