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nail damage from docetaxel
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nail damage from docetaxel

I was diagnosed with a second primary breast cancer July 2008, left breast.   The first was 1999  (right breast, treated with total mastectomy and chemotherapy with 4 cycles of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide.  This time I received docetaxel and cyclophosphamide for 4 courses every 3 weeks.  My last one was Dec 3 2008.  I had pain in my fingernails during chemo, but no changes until about 3 weeks later when I noticed thickening and lifting and ridging in about half of my  nails.  They are not painful and I am not aware of any accompanying neuropathy.  I keep them  trimmed short so sometimes have difficulty picking up small objects.  Will I lose my nails, will they become painful.  

I have also lost my hair.  When will it grow back?  I have read that it may take longer after docetaxel than other drugs.
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Hi,

You should discuss your nail situation with your Oncologist.  If his/her response does not satisfy you, perhaps you will feel more comfortable talking with a dermatologist.

As a cancer survivor who has gone through many many chemo sessions, I can tell you this:  Our nails will turn darik.  Clipping your nails short is a good idea, however, I would be careful not to clip them too short.  Again, the length of your nails can be discuss with your medical team.

Our hair generally will fall out (for most not all) around the third week, so it seems you are on schedule.  Your hair will grow back.  From what I have heard most comes back better or a different texture.  You should see some seedling once your body gets use to the chemo.  I started to see growth towards the last 2 treatments the first time.  I had a recurrance, and my hair started growing after I completed my chemo treatment.

So be patient, don't let it stress you out.  I know our hair is our glory.  But the baldness is only temporary.  :)

Take care
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