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To Shave Or Not To Shave: How Cancer Patients Can Prepare Themselves For Possible Hair Loss

A person with a clean-shaved head is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “cancer” or “cancer treatment.” Hair loss is a devastating consequence endured by a lot of cancer patients. However, there are many ways in which a cancer patient can cope with hair loss. To learn more about it, read this article.

What causes hair loss in cancer patients? 

Treatment methods like chemotherapy and radiation therapy lead to hair loss or alopecia in cancer patients. 

Is a process of administering powerful drugs into the human body to destroy abnormal tumour cells. Unfortunately, some of these drugs tend to attack the rapidly growing cells in the human body, including hair roots. It affects not just the other head but the face and body hair, including eyelashes and eyebrows.

Thinness or baldness of hair depends on the kind of chemotherapy used for the treatment. However, it is important to remember that not all drugs used for chemotherapy lead to air loss. Patients should communicate with their doctors regarding their concerns. 
Hair loss caused by chemotherapy is temporary and starts after the final round.

Is the process of using high energy to target and kill tumours. Like chemotherapy, radiation also leads to hair loss which can grow back. But, high doses of radiation lead to permanent loss of hair.

Other treatment methods like hormone therapy and targeted therapy lead to temporary hair loss. 

Is it mandatory for cancer patients to cut their hair? 

Medical experts suggest cancer patients shave their heads before various treatment methods like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc. Alopecia itself is an irritating experience. People often wake up and find strands of hair on their pillows. They experience hair loss while bathing or combing. If hair loss is ongoing, one will eventually notice it on household goods, even meals (if they are cooking). Hair loss also leaves behind uneven patches. 
Shaving the head prevents irritating scenarios. 

How to prepare for hair loss during cancer treatment? 

Hair loss is neither a surety nor a permanent side effect. Cancer patients can prepare themselves better by cutting their hair. 

There are organizations that provide cancer care products like wigs and scarves. Many people are encouraged to donate their hair to make wigs for cancer patients. Wigs offer a sense of confidence and actualization. Those who are not comfortable wearing wigs can opt for scarves or hats.

Want to donate hair for cancer patients? 

Contact Oncohappy if you are interested in donating your hair to cancer patients. The hair strand you contribute must be at least 12 or 14 inches long. Follow the steps mentioned on the website to make a difference in a patient’s life. 

It is important that patients wear sunscreen after shaving their heads. The scalp region tends to be sensitive, and sunscreen helps prevent possible sunburn.

Patients should consult a cosmetologist to better prepare for possible face and body hair loss. In addition, they will suggest ways in which people can get artificial eyelashes or eyebrows.

How to support cancer patients who experience hair loss?

Cancer patients who have hair loss frequently struggle to deal emotionally. Cancer patients have expressed on social media how they have received glances and pitying looks because of their clean, shaven heads.

Caregivers and peers should provide the required support to cancer patients. It is imperative that people do not perceive cancer patients as victims, and hair does not represent a loss in any way. Instead, caregivers should provide an atmosphere where cancer patients continue to lead their lives normally and happily. It is better not to force them to wear wigs or cover their heads. One must not feel shame, social challenges and pressure that come with cancer treatment.

In conclusion,

Health is the most important factor. Patients and their caregivers must focus on preserving and ensuring their health. Oftentimes cancer patients choose not to undergo treatment, fearing negative consequences like hair loss. As caregivers, one must keep in mind that cancer patients are going through a difficult phase.

Support is the best gift one can provide a cancer patient. 

How can CancerMitr help? 

CancerMitr provides cancer care services, including cancer care products like hair care (scarves, wigs, hats), skin care (eyebrow pencils, body lotion, sunscreen), etc. 
Our focus is on providing holistic care for all our patients throughout their cancer journey so that they may look back and be proud of how far they have come. Check our website to explore all the services we offer. 

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