Hair Loss Whilst Taking Letrozole
Hi I have been taking letrizole for nearly 7 months I stick to the same brand “teva ” my pharmacist orders It in for me at first I was given all different brand names and got different side effects but with the teva the side affects are minimal and don’t bother me too much I can live with it a few muscle aches and hot flush now and again I’m more active now than I was before and sleeping better I have noticed a little hair loss when I wash and brush but nothing noticeable I do have very thick long hair I was told I’ll be taking letrozole for ten years I’m 59 I take same time every evening the only thing that bothers me it’s keeping my weight on I’m finding it difficult to loose 1lb-2lb on healthy eating plans and find it a bit disheartening I get easily tearful sometimes I’d expect that’s the hormones balancing out!
im happy to stay on letrozole if it lowers the risk of a reoccurrence I hope your situation improves I hear that caffeine shampoo is very good for hair loss .
best wishs marie.
Welcome to our forum. I have had 2 bouts of breast cancer. The first was 11 years ago. I had a lumpectomy followed by Tamoxifen. I discovered a second lump in the same breast a year later and, had a bilateral mastectomy followed by Letrozole for 6 years. I stopped taking this in July 2017.
Like MB01, I was happy to take Letrozole to reduce the risk of another recurrence. Have you started this treatment yet, or are you just considering it?
Coping With Other People’s Reactions To Hair Loss
You may feel that losing your hair means that you will need to tell people about your diagnosis when you would prefer not to, however, its up to you who you tell. Some people tell just their family and close friends, while others are happy to let everyone know.
People will respond to you losing your hair in different ways, and you may find some reactions difficult to understand.
A change in appearance may make you feel less confident about socialising with friends and family. However, withdrawing from your social life may make you feel more isolated or that your diagnosis is preventing you from doing the things you enjoy. Many people find continuing to meet up with others is a useful distraction and helps to keep some normality.
You may feel anxious about other peoples reactions at first, but these feelings should gradually improve over time. It might help to talk to others who have experienced hair loss.
If you have children, whatever their age, you may wonder what to tell them about your breast cancer. Your children may find it upsetting to see you without any hair and it might help if you prepare them for the fact that this may happen. Studies have shown that children are less anxious if they know whats happening, and that it can be less frightening for them to know what is going on even if they dont fully understand. Read our tips about talking to children about breast cancer.
Are Collagen Supplements Safe For Breast Cancer Survivors
My subscribers also get a treasure trove of info on nutrition, supplements and lifestyle tips on surviving breast cancer.
The Role of Collagen The ScienceCollagen is used to support and protect, so naturally tumors twist it to their advantage. Tumors are often full of fibroblasts, the major cell type responsible for producing collagen. These cells pump out huge amounts of collagen, swaddling little pockets of tumor cells, called tumor nests, in blankets of collagen that keep damaging agents away. These collagen-rich regions form a physical barrier around tumor cells that keep chemotherapeutics, immune cells, antibodies, and other therapies from reaching the cells to kill them. The particular shape and character of collagen in a tumor has even been linked to how easily the tumor grows and spreads.Tumour BiologyScience SignalingBreast Cancer ResearchThe Bottom Lineand your doctor agrees with that
Does Cancer Cause Hair Loss
It iswidely assumed that if you have cancer, you will eventually lose all your hair.But is cancer itself the hair-loss culprit? The answer is no.
Alopecia,or hair loss, occurs as a secondary result of chemotherapy and radiationtreatment. Both chemotherapy and radiation attack the rapidly growing cancercells in your body. The treatment may also attack other normal, fast-growingcells, like the cells in your hair roots.
Although many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss, its a myth that all cancer patients receiving treatment will experience alopecia. The severity of your hair loss will vary depending on which medications youre taking, the drug dosage, and the frequency of treatment. While some patients experience only a mild thinning of hair, others may have more severe complications. Other types of treatment, such as radiation, will only cause hair loss on the area being treated.
Who Experiences Hair Loss
Not every person will lose his or her hair during cancer care. In fact, two patients taking the same medication may experience different hair-loss side effects. One patient may lose hair, while another doesnt. If alopecia does occur, the extent of hair loss varies widely depending on the type, dosage, frequency and method of treatment, as well as other individual factors.
In some cases, the hair may fall out, but become thin, dull and dry. When hair loss occurs, hair may fall out gradually, quickly, in clumps or entirely. The scalp may also feel tender or itchy beforehand.
Most hair loss is temporary, and hair will grow back after cancer treatment ends. Hair generally grows back within three months after chemotherapy ends and three to six months after radiation ends. Sometimes hair re-growth begins even before therapy is complete. Its common for hair to grow back a slightly different color and texture at first.
Baldness drug treatments, such as minoxidil, are not proven to be consistently effective to reduce or prevent hair loss caused by cancer treatment. In some cases, cooling caps, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for some patients, may help to protect hair cells from chemotherapy drugs. Cooling caps are designed to work by constricting cells, making it more difficult for the drugs to penetrate, and by reducing cellular activity in the hair follicles, making them a less likely target for chemotherapy drugs.
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Arimidex And Hair Loss: A Surprising Side Effect
by Patient Expert
Arimidex is the most common hormone therapy drug taken by post-menopausal breast cancer survivors. We’re warned about sore and aching bones and joints, the danger of osteoporosis” but no one ever seems to mention the drug’s affect on your hair, and for many of us, it’s the most irritating side effect of all.
When you go through breast cancer treatment, you quickly learn the meaning of those two simple words. And you find out that each treatment you undergo has its very own list of side effects.
For chemotherapy, which has the most prolific array of accompanying side effects , challenges can range from commonplace to possible to rare .
For radiation, side effects are fewer, and generally less serious although painful burns and extreme fatigue are tough to deal with, they’re not fatal.
Long-term hormone therapy drugs, given to women whose cancer is hormone-receptive , carry side effects that, like those from radiation, are almost never fatal. The weight gain, menopausal symptoms, and possible endometrial cancer from tamoxifen are well-known.
And aromatase inhibitors can cause joint and bone pain so severe that women stop taking them, more willing to risk a cancer recurrence than endure daily debilitating pain.
However, one little-known side effect of hormone therapy is seldom mentioned by doctors. It’s not particularly dangerous nor is it painful, at least in the physical sense.
Crowning glory? Forget about it.
Noticeably “thinner” hair.
Breast Cancer Hair Loss
Wish I knew I am at the start of all this, waiting to see what they are going to do and how bad it is. I am very upset at the prospect of my hair gone.
About to have chemo number 5 for breast cancer.
Yes you will loose your hair with this chemo lost mine from about day 13 of the 1st dose.
You can use the cold cap discuss this with your oncologist before treatment. I decided against it because it doesn’t always work and prolongs the time treatment takes by a couple of hours of think.
Everyone is different though and it may work for you
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. What have they done so far?
I’m concerned about losing my hair too but I am coming to terms with it, I will either get a wig or a few pretty head scarves if needed. However, until tomorrow it is only a possibility. I know it’s easier said than done but try to go one step at a time.
Keep in touch
Thanks for your reply.
How’s the chemo going? How many rounds of chemo are you having?
AT least this time tomorrow I should have my treatment plan and know what to expect. I keep telling myself that it’ll be easier when I know, I hope I’m right.
I think with the cold cap it would possibly be worse using it and still losing hair rather than just accepting from the beginning that it’s happening, so I’d probably do the same as you.
Good luck for tomorrow.
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Looking After Your Hair During Breast Cancer Treatment
The following tips may be helpful for all hair types during treatment:
- try not to wash your hair for about two days after chemotherapy, especially if having scalp cooling
- use a mild, unperfumed shampoo and conditioner
- try not to wash your hair more than twice a week
- use warm rather than hot water
- pat your hair dry rather than rubbing it
- brush or comb your hair gently with a soft hairbrush or wide tooth plastic comb
- avoid plaiting or braiding it as this may damage your hair
- avoid using elastic bands to tie back long hair
- avoid any hair colours and dyes, perms, relaxers and other products containing strong chemicals
- avoid products containing alcohol, such as hairspray, which can irritate the scalp
- avoid excessive heat from hair straighteners, hairdryers, hot brushes and heated rollers
- massaging the scalp may help by improving the blood supply to the hair follicles
- avoid hair extensions and weaves as these can also weaken the hair
If chemotherapy doesnt cause hair loss, it may make it brittle, dry or straw-like, so its a good idea to treat your hair as gently as possible. Hormone therapy can also cause the hair to thin and feel fragile.
Due to its structure, African and Caribbean hair is the most vulnerable to damage of all hair textures so it is recommended to take special care and use specific products.
How Long Will It Take For My Hair To Fall Out After Starting Chemotherapy
The first signs that you are losing your hair may be finding hair on the pillow in the morning or extra hair in your hairbrush. This can still be a shock and very distressing even when youre prepared for it to happen. Wearing a soft hat or turban in bed to collect loose hairs might help.
Cancer Hair Care has useful information on their website explaining the hair loss and regrowth cycle in more detail.
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What Causes Hair Loss In Cancer Patients
Chemotherapy targets cancer cells that divide rapidly. But some healthy cells in the body also divide rapidly, like those lining the mouth and stomach, and in the hair follicles. When cancer treatments, especially certain chemotherapy drugs, damage the healthy, fast-growing cells responsible for hair growth, alopecia may result. Radiation therapy may also cause hair loss in the specific area of the body being treated.
Although hair loss does not always happen right away, it usually begins within two weeks of starting chemotherapy treatment and progresses over the following two months. Hair loss in the area being treated with radiation treatment usually begins up to three weeks after the first treatment. Hair loss may continue throughout treatment and up to a few weeks afterward.
Hair loss may occur on the head and/or elsewhere on the body, including the face , hair on the arms, underarms and legs, and pubic hair.
When Will I Begin To Lose My Hair
You may start to see your hair thin or fall out 1 to 4 weeks after your first chemotherapy treatment and 4 weeks after you receive radiation therapy.
The amount of hair that falls out or thins depends on the type, dose, and timing of your treatments. The speed at which it falls out also varies from person to person. You may first notice hair on your pillow in the morning or see it when you shower or brush your hair.
Some people will experience hair thinning rather than hair loss. Hair thinning is when your hair feels and looks thinner in texture. Talk with your healthcare team about what to expect after your chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
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Hair Loss And Cancer Treatment
If treatment will cause hair loss, try wearing fun scarves and earrings or a cap, from time to time.
Some types of chemotherapy cause the hair on your head and other parts of your body to fall out. Radiation therapy can also cause hair loss on the part of the body that is being treated. Hair loss is called alopecia. Talk with your health care team to learn if the cancer treatment you will be receiving causes hair loss. Your doctor or nurse will share strategies that have help others, including those listed below.
How To Minimize The Effects Of Hair Loss During Breast Cancer Treatment
Because hair loss is often a noticeable aspect of breast cancer and its treatment, it can be upsetting. As you focus on fighting your cancer, keep in mind that the primary goal of your treatment is to enhance your outcome and quality of life. Additionally, you should remember that your hair will likely grow back eventually. In the meantime, here are some things you can do that may make your hair loss less of a worry for you:
- If you are interested in wearing a wig, purchase one before your breast cancer treatment begins. That way, it will be easier to match your natural hair color and texture . Try on several styles until you find one that you like. Keep in mind that the cost of your “cranial prosthesis” may be partially or fully covered by your health insurance.
- Consider wearing a soft scarf or hat as an alternative to a wig. Look for cotton fabrics, which tend to stay on a smooth scalp better and feel more comfortable than synthetics.
- Be gentle with your hair. Avoid brushing, pulling, braiding, dyeing, perming and heat styling.
- Consider getting a short, easy-to-style haircut or even shaving your head before your hair starts to fall out.
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What Can I Do If Hair Loss Is Expected With My Radiation Therapy Treatment
Each person responds differently when learning that they may experience hair loss. There is no right or wrong response. What’s important is to do what you feel comfortable with, to do what is right for you. If you expect to lose the hair on your head during your cancer treatments, the following tips may be helpful:
- If your hair is long, cutting it shorter may help decrease the impact of your hair loss when it occurs.
- Some people find it easier to deal with hair loss by shaving their heads before hair loss occurs.
- Be sure to protect your head with a hat to prevent sun exposure on sunny days- and not just in the summer months! This is especially important for men who are less likely to wear a wig or turban/scarf.
- Use a soft-bristle brush and a gentle, pH-balanced shampoo.
- Don’t use hair dryers, hot rollers, or curling irons because they may damage your hair and make hair loss more severe.
- Don’t bleach or color your hair, and don’t get a permanent. All of these make your hair brittle and may cause your hair to fall out faster.
- Sleep on a satin pillowcase to decrease friction.
Hair Loss And Your Children
If you have young children, you may be concerned about how theyll react to seeing you lose your hair as a side effect of chemotherapy.
Experts say that no matter the age of your kids, its best to prepare them before your hair falls out with honest, age-appropriate information about what to expect.
Since kids often follow your lead, try not to get too upset yourself during the conversation. Reassure them that your hair will grow back. It might also make them feel better to participate in some of the things youre doing to prepare, such as picking out hats, scarves, or other head coverings, or shaving off your hair.
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The Stage Of Freaking The Eff Out
This stage started the minute I realized it was time to shave my head and lasted a little less than a week. This stage is akin to when your ex gets a new mate. Its, like, over over. For reals. Its highlights were crying, mean-quipping my husband, sobbing into the mirror, refusing to leave the house, and probably mostly because I was also in the throes of an early, chemotherapy-induced menopause oh-so-much more crying over my fallen hair.