Victoria Derbyshire, UK daytime TV queen, has again been speaking about her chemo induced hair loss and the shocking statistics that reveal women are choosing hair over treatment.
Victoria's Open Secret
We previously wrote about Victoria Derbyshire's encounter with cancer. The host of her own morning show in UK TV documented the whole process. The initial shock of her diagnosis, as for anyone who has been through that terrible experience she struggled to come to terms. Not just with the diagnosis either, the bewildering tsunami of specialists, tests, results, medicines, prognoses and treatment plans are enough to test anyone. Victoria, with her training as a journalist to the fore, embraced everything and shared the lot. We saw the video she posted as she was about to go for her first chemotherapy session... and the piece she did about her cooling cap - A device we have covered here before, basically a cap that fits over the scalp and reduces the temperature to decrease blood flow... in the hope that less of the chemicals in chemotherapy reach the hair follicles. Those chemicals are designed to target fast replicating cells like hair.. .though of course they are aiming to get the cancerous cells elsewhere and the hair is collateral damage.
What Victoria Did Next
Today Victoria bought us up to date on her battle with cancer and its aftermath. She revealed that she had been wearing a wig as an everyday accessory, not through choice either. Despite the use of the cooling cap she was left losing as much as three quarters of her hair. So since December 2015 she has relied on a wig to go about her daily business, including near daily appearances appearing on national TV. That she described losing her hair as the worst part of the treatment is an insight into just how distressing it is for women, in particular, to go through hair loss on top of everything else. Indeed, a shocking 8% of women decline chemotherapy with a substantial proportion of them giving hair loss as their primary reason.
For once it is great to bring redemptive news, at least one of the reasons that Victoria chose to provoke the debate about the emotional challenges of hair loss for women was that she had something to share. She used social media to make public the moment she was doing away with her wig. For Victoria, as for many women who undergo chemotherapy (or some other shock induced hair loss), she has now returned to a full head of hair. In fact, she claims it might be even thicker, shinier, and more "ringlety" than before. It would certainly be appropriate compensation for the misery she went through.
HIS Hair Clinic
We applaud Victoria for bringing the conversation around women's hair loss into the public domain, or at least the daytime TV public domain - though it did also make its way into some newspapers.We feel for those women declining chemotherapy because of the prospect of hair loss, but we also want to highlight the fact that there are millions of women living with the genetic version of the problem... who don't feel any less emotional about it.
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