785188 tn?1279928405

Chemotherapies that wont make you lose your hair

I heard that there are some treatments that do not cause hair loss.  Is this true?  If so, what are they and are they effective in treating Ovarian Cancer?  
8 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm going to try and say this very calmly, yes there are chemo drugs that won't have you lose your hair, but when you're fighting for your life, who cares about hair?

I'm on my 4th chemo drug since I was diagnosed 3 years ago, and staged 4B. My only remission lasted 4 months.

I'm going through side effect HELL with this drug I'm on now which is Doxil, and my hair is thinning but I haven't gone bald as I had with carbo/taxol.

Your oncologist will suggest the drug he feels will KILL THE CANCER and extend your life.

I'm sorry to be harsh, but on this forum we just lost 2 wonderful and young ladies to this monster disease this past week.

Hair would be at the bottom of my caring list, there are lots of wigs and pretty scarfs and hats to cover a bald head.
107366 tn?1305680375
I agree with Jane.  Understandably, losing one's hair to chemotherapy for cancer treatment seems like it is just adding insult to injury. Not only do you have cancer, but you have to lose your hair, as well.  But, in the scheme of things, it is just a necessary evil.  The first line treatment for ovarian cancer is usually Taxol and Carboplatin.  It is the first line treatment because it has been shown to work well, and will put most women into remission after the first cycle of 6 treatments.  But, Taxol makes you lose your hair.  When I woke up in the recovery room after surgery and was told I had cancer, the first question I asked was, "Will I lose my hair?"  My surgeon said yes, and I cried harder over that than the diagnosis.  But I found that the thought of losing my hair was much worse than actually losing it.  I used to hate it when people who don't have cancer would say things like, "Don't worry, it'll grow back!"  Yes, it will grow back, but why don't YOU shave YOUR head and see how it feels!  But I learned to wear my bald head as a badge of courage. Yes, it still *****, but you find a way to deal with it.  

I'm not sure if you are asking this question for you, or for someone else, or even if you've been diagnosed.  But whatever your situation, there is a forum here full of women who have been there, done that...so feel free to come back with any questions you may have.  We know it's scary.  We know it changes your life forever.  But we also know the people here always have an extra shoulder to cry on when you need one.

Best wishes to you.

785188 tn?1279928405
I was asking for my mom.....after 7 months her CA level just went up from 13 to 305 and we are waiting for the scan results.  Her hair just grew enough to be colored and she is not wearing her wig anymore.  She is having a hard time knowing that she will be losing it again and how long it takes for it to grow back.  Im sure she feels more comfortable and normal now that she can walk around with hair again.  

It was just a question and that is what this site is suppose to be for
Avatar universal

Tensions can be a little high around these parts some days. Don't let it stop you asking or helping others. I am sure that you understand the stresses and strains of this illness as you see your mother grapple with these issues. I guess we all need to be a little forgiving of the questions that seem to some to be unimportant and the answers that seem to some as harsh.

The number 1 things are to get disease free and to try to remain positive and encouraging. We all have bad days - I shouted at my kids this morning for next to nothing - been thinking about it all day......

In answer to your original question - most chemo will have a negative effect on hair as the chemo is killing exactly the type of cells (fast replicating) that are in hair folicles. Some will just cause thinning, others will cause complete hair loss. But as the ladies said - better to choose the right chemo as a priority.

One thing to consider is scalp cooling - this is a process by which they place a cold cap (like a cycle helmet) on your head as they administer the chemo. This "freezes" the hair folicles so that they don't get damaged by the chemo. Its not 100% effective but most women do retain their hair. The downside is that you have a very cold head for a few hours - some people find this quite painful. This treatment is not available everywhere you get chemo so you might not have access to it.
Avatar universal
Hi babeblue94,
I'm sorry to read about what you and your mom are going through. It is always so difficult to wait for scan results. There are many chemo drugs that do not cause hair loss. Taxol is the main culprit. However, I was on a lower dose of Taxol every week for almost 2 years. My hair drastically thinned but then it grew back even when on chemo! This is just a suggestion, but if your mom is to experience her falling out again, she may enjoy a new wig style. I did that the second time my hair fell out and was glad to have a "new" look. It sort of lightened the blow. It was at that time that I also discovered I could by wigs on line for much less money than they cost through a wig shop. I went a little crazy and ended up with 3 wigs in the same color but with slightly different styles.

As I write this, I am with my mother who has nonsmoker's lung cancer and just started hospice this week.  The mother-daughter bond is a strong and special one, isn't it? I am sure you are a tremendous source of support to her during this time. Please let us know what happens! All the best to you both.
785188 tn?1279928405
abrite - I am so sorry to  hear about your mother.  Its very hard to know what to say or do at times like this, feeling lost for words a lot lately.  I am remaining calm because we don't have results yet and the CA level can be on a rise when things aren't as bad as one wants to think - positive thoughts is what I keep telling myself.  My mom is very strong and has been through some really bad times and I have no doubt that whatever they see or don't see, she will get through this again.  

And yes, I do believe a mother/daughter bond is definately a special one :)  

jr1971 - I can understand the tension, I wasn't in the greatest mood myself yesterday and I am not dealing with what all of you ladies and my mother have to deal with day in and day out, Im a supporter.  I agree that the treatment that will help anyone is most important, thank you for your reply.  

Hope everyone can enjoy their weekends - the best to all of you
Avatar universal
I know hair loss is very tramatic, but so is having cancer. It turns ones world upside down, and it's difficult to get back on a even keel again. Two years later and just starting to settle down now. The fear never goes away, it's always in the back of one's mind. Every ache pain, or strange symptom can set one to thinking, is the monster back. Take life one day at a time and deal with it as it comes, otherwise it will consume you. When I was dx, my daughter really couldn't handle it. She withdrew from me when I needed her the most. She was only 17 at the time. I new what was going on with her and had to give her time to figuere it out. Well she came around eventually and I think we are closer than ever now. We laugh alot now about how bald I was. There are no pictures of me then nd she laughs about that too. I wouldn't let anyone take any. I hated that I had no hair, but I hated having no eyebrows or eyelashes more. Things have been very stressed on the forum lately and its understandable. Just keep asking questions, there is alot of support here. be patient
955491 tn?1253935699
hi- you know when i was diag i was alone in a hospital room- my husb was at work, 3 doctors came and told me and left-i was adv someone would be in to see me-little did i knwo i would meet the first of the medical team that would save my life- i never knew my mother- my grandmother died in 1995  she raised me,we no strong sense of closenss. but when my husband got home and called   his mother she was here almost before he could hang up the phone.she flrw from montana to calif with in hours she stayed hour after hour with me while in the hospital-met with the medical staff-asked the questions,  stayed until i came through the  first hospitsl stay  3 weeks until i came home -once the surg was schelduled she returned and stayed with me until i was home-  helped my husband through it-
with 8 of her own children - scattered  about..
she helped me through the worst days of my life -.i was so lucky think about those who have to face this alone - and pray for all of us.
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