Coping with Hair Loss (Alopecia) in Childhood Cancer
Symptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.
Hair loss, also called alopecia, is a potential side effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and probably the side-effect with which we are the most familiar. Fortunately most of the time hair loss related to cancer treatment is usually temporary and will grow back after a while.
The loss of hair may occur all over the body, including on the head, face, arms, legs, underarms, and pubic area. The hair may fall out entirely, gradually, or in sections. In some cases, hair will simply become thin—sometimes unnoticeably—and may become duller or dryer.
Cancer-related hair loss is usually caused by the cancer treatment that your child may be undergoing.
It may also be helpful to talk about potential hair loss with family and friends, especially other children in the family and your child’s school before it occurs. Expecting changes in the physical appearance of someone they know helps lower a child’s fear or anxiety.
Many children with cancer, especially girls, experience hair loss because of cancer treatment as more than just a change in physical appearance. To many young girls, their hair is their crowning glory, and losing it can be an emotionally challenging experience that affects their self-image and quality of life.
It is sometimes better to cut your child’s hair short before they start treatment, as this can provide fullness for a shorter hairstyle and makes the eventual hair loss a less dramatic change. It will also take less time for new hair to grow into the shorter hairstyle once it begins to regrow, and can help your child cope and move forward more easily after treatment.
Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Hair Loss on our static page, Hair Loss (Alopecia) in Childhood Cancer
Posted on 16 June, 2016, in Blog and tagged Alopecia, cancer, Child Cancer Awareness, childhood cancer, Children with Cancer, Fighting Cancer, Little Fighters Cancer Trust, side effects. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.