Most of us will have a good idea of what Chemotherapy is, or at least understand it’s purpose. If you have a more detailed knowledge it is likely because you, or someone close to you, has had to undergo a course of treatment. The fact is that unless you have a motivation to research the subject in more detail, you will most likely wait until events force your hand. We take a closer look and share some essential knowledge on chemotherapy and de-mystify a standard part of the solution for cancer sufferers.

 

What Is Chemotherapy?

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Chemotherapy is a category of cancer treatment that uses drugs to target cancer cells in the body. Usually alongside other therapies like radiography, chemotherapy drugs broadly target cells that are capable of reproducing quickly. It is how they work that becomes the problem for your hair… though it is far from the only side effect of the treatment and a long way from being the most serious – the production of red blood cells is also diminished which in turn hampers your body’s immune system. Mucositus is also common, this inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract can be extremely uncomfortable. Permanent sensations of pain, infertility, nausea and vomiting, cognitive impairment… we could go on. It is definitely a case of the need for a cure outweighing the risks involved in taking the cure.

What Does The Future Hold?

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The good news is that another generation of medicines is coming towards the market, these are based on antibodies and are capable of specifically targeting proteins abnormally expressed by the cancer cells. These new treatments hold the promise of a revolution in the treatment of cancer, ridding us of the massive majority of the side effects in a stroke… maybe even all of them.

In The Meantime

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For now there are some precautions you can take that may provide some relief. Prior to treatment many hospitals can now offer Cooling Caps, these are used to chill the scalp before a chemotherapy session, the reduction in blood supply will limit the amount of toxicity your follicles are subjected to… but it won’t stop the hair loss. Beyond that diet is an important factor, make sure you eating a balanced and nutritious diet with plenty of vitamins. Once your hair loss starts to expose scalp begin with good skin care, cleansing and moisturising to keep it in the best condition… your hair will return once treatment stops so this routine will help your follicles to help themselves.

There are solutions available to help, by far the most popular is the wearing of wigs. Be prepared, a good quality wig is not a cheap item – but it has the unique capability of returning the wearer, instantly, to a full head of hair.

HIS Hair Clinic

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If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our HIS experts please find your nearest clinic by clicking here, we offer first class advice during these free consultations.

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By Ian Watson

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