Hair loss from chemotherapy is one of the most widely recognised – and feared – side effects of the treatment. Not only do patients have the worry of the illness that is attacking their body but they also lose confidence and self-esteem from the – very obvious – effects of treatment.
The Daily Mail recently covered some stories from cancer patients about how they deal with hair loss from chemotherapy and feeling beautiful whilst undergoing treatment. Here’s a summary of what they said:
Alex Jones – how hair loss from chemotherapy affected me
This 26-year-old woman from Manchester was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 2013 when she was just 23 years old. After ending treatment in 2014, her cancer returned in 2015 and she had to undergo another string of treatments. She now has to take oral chemotherapy for the rest of her life.
As someone who took a lot of pride in her appearance, Alex was devastated when she started losing her hair and her self-confidence took a hard knock. She uses make up tutorials to give her the confidence to walk out the door each day feeling beautiful.
Helen was 32 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The now 34 year old from London, has been given the all clear from her 2014 diagnoses however is still on her treatment regime which involves taking Tamoxifen.
How she looked was always massively important to her – she had once stated that she “never wanted short hair ever”.
After her second round of chemotherapy, she began losing her hair. She eventually shaved her hair off. She was never one for make-up but adored her hair. She says that she wishes she’d known that it is possible to get a wig fitted and cut to suit you.
Sue Stannard, aged 63 from Grantham, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2011, invasive ductal carcinoma. Two weeks into her treatment, her immune system collapsed and she was hospitalised. After many surgeries, she is now on a treatment regime to prevent the risk of recurrence.
Sue stated that she would ‘glam’ herself up for hospital appointments and chemotherapy sessions to make her feel confident. As her hair began to regrow, it was coarse and curly. A few years on from her hair regrowth and knows the ways to manage her hair.
Indira was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 31. She had no family history of the disease and after her first round of treatment, she was given the all clear.
After giving birth to her children, her cancer returned. She notes that her Buddhist beliefs helped her retain her positivity throughout her treatment but she still struggled to come to terms with hair loss from chemotherapy. She never really got on with wigs and choose to use head scarves to make her feel feminine and confident.