My cancer diagnosis is terrifying
QI’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m having surgery next week and I'm told it’s likely I’ll need chemotherapy. It sounds silly, but I’m worried about my hair falling out. Does it always fall out, and can you stop it?
aIt doesn’t sound silly at all. Your hair is part of how you look and feel about yourself, and it’s extremely common to be upset about the thought of losing it. Not all chemo drugs cause hair loss to the same degree, some only affect the hair on your head, and others all your body hair. A cooling ice cap can be worn during treatments to try and minimise hair loss. And if you do lose your hair and wish to wear a wig, these are available on the NHS in particular circumstances – for example, if you’re on income support. Hair loss related to chemotherapy is temporary and the hair grows back after you stop, though it may be a different colour and texture.
Mum-of-three Dr Philippa works in a busy NHS practice and in private practice