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Rare Treatment Can Be Used to Help Cancer Patients Reverse Hair Loss
by April Maguire
At some point in their lives, most people start to lose their hair. Around 80% of men and 50% of women can expect to see noticeable hair loss by the time they reach their 50th birthday. While the vast majority of that hair loss occurs naturally, some of it doesn’t. In fact, a sizable number of people lose their hair each year as the result of medical treatment, most notably chemotherapy. But a revolutionary new treatment could offer hope to people looking for a cure to chemotherapy-induced baldness.
Hair Loss Following Chemotherapy
Although new cancer treatments are being developed every year, doctors still rely on chemotherapy to battle the disease. Unfortunately, chemotherapy comes with a number of unpleasant side effects, not the least of which is hair loss. This hair loss occurs due to the inability of chemo drugs to distinguish between healthy cells and cancerous cells. Chemotherapy targets all fast-growing cells in the human body, and because hair cells grow quickly, they get destroyed as well, thereby causing permanent hair loss in the form of alopecia.
For people going through chemotherapy, it can sometimes seem like there are no good options to hide their hair loss. Often, high-quality wigs are too expensive, and cheaper alternatives look unnatural. Hats, while inexpensive, aren’t always appropriate, and headscarves have become so synonymous with chemotherapy patients that they draw unwanted attention. For people going through this process, one of the silver linings is that their hair will eventually grow back, but chemotherapy-induced alopecia doesn’t always make that possible.
Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia Treatment
Currently, doctors aren’t sure why chemotherapy-induced alopecia occurs. Maybe it’s because the follicles were too badly damaged or they’re no longer receiving enough blood, but whatever the cause, typical hair loss remedies don't seem to reverse the problem. However, some doctors have increasingly started using a revolutionary new technique. After drawing the patient’s blood, the doctor separates out the plasma and injects it into the scalp, in a process called platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection. Because plasma is loaded with platelets that induce growth, it reawakens inactive follicles and spurs them into growing new hairs.
Even though this plasma-injection technique isn’t widely used now, many doctors believe that it could represent the wave of the future. Not only is the procedure relatively inexpensive, but it also isn’t particularly painful and doesn’t require significant recovery time for the patient.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!