Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer Treatment Hair Loss

Hair Loss Due to Cancer is Almost Always Temporary

DID YOU KNOW? A woman's fear over losing her hair can top the fear of losing her life to cancer?

Emmy-award-winning TV hairstylist and cosmetologist and herself a cancer-survivor, Jan Ping, found this out first-hand when she began working with cancer patients in the American Cancer Society's "Look Good Feel Better" program. "It's so personal how people feel about their hair," says Ping. It might help to understand how your scalp is changing and how to choose a wig for your total hair loss condition. What you probably don't realize is that technology has caught up with the hair replacement industry and a local hair replacement specialist can custom-design a nonsurgical hair system for you that breathes like your own skin and is capable of giving you a more natural, healthier appearance. These devices can replace all of your hair and allow you to sleep, shower and perform your normal daily activities, which can go a long way toward helping you to feel a lot better.

What can I expect from hair loss due to cancer?

According to hair loss treatment experts, your scalp can become very sensitive as hair fallout occurs. You may notice hair loss in clumps and you may notice the texture of what hair you have left changing, becoming thin and fuzzy. Stylists and hair loss professionals are ready to help you deal with hair loss issues as they arise.

1. Ask for privacy: When you go to see your stylist for help with your hair loss, ask the receptionist for a private area when you make the appointment over the phone, especially if you are very self-conscious. Most stylists will do everything they can to accommodate your feelings - and if they won't, switch salons!

2. Tell all: Tell your stylist or hair loss professional all about your hair loss issues, why it is happening, what medications you are on and anything else that could be important. This way you can work together to make an appropriate plan to deal with your hair loss as seamlessly as possible.

3. Get lots of trims: You'll need to come every few weeks to keep hair trimmed up until it all falls out. Salon owner Ouidad, a cancer survivor and hairstylist, says that trimming shorter also allows you to clearly see the shape of your head and scalp so it is not so shocking once hair is totally gone.

4. Shave it all off: At some point, you may just want to ask your stylist to crop it all off. But don't crop it too short, cautions Carol Galland, founder of Headcovers.com and cancer-survivor herself, "If you don't shave it completely and leave stubble, it feels like needles sticking your head when you rest it on a pillow!" Also, watch out for shavers and scissors -- don't be afraid to double-check with your stylist that they have been properly sterilized, because infection is an issue when your immune system may be compromised by chemotherapy, caution doctors and stylists alike.

5. Have a fit: A wig-fitting that is. "And do it before hair falls out and your original style is lost", advises Diahna Husbands, owner of Diahna Lynn Hair Studio in Maryland. "Also if you do this early enough in the game, you'll come in with hair and leave with new hair that looks the same so there is no awkward transition," says Husbands.

According to Warren Vaheeswaran, co-founder of Landmark Hair Replacement of London, a London-based hair loss treatment clinic, "It is a fact that a patient who achieves and maintains a healthy image while recovering from the trauma of chemotherapy will benefit tremendously from it. It actually helps the healing process."

Cancer-related hair loss: The bottom line

Look for people who make you feel good, who want to help you look and feel better ... avoid negativity. Actually," says Husbands, "It may seem terrible at first, but I've seen women turn it into a fun thing and order a few different wigs for different looks -- they see it as a way to express personality and I agree."

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    need some info on ovarian cancer and treatments?
    Im only 30 and just got diagnoised with ovarian cancer. The dr is saying hysterectomy and chemo.. I didnt get a whole lot more info than that just that it is probably early and very treatable and not to b to alarmed. Well i am alarmed. i have read there r many types of chemo will i need to stay in the hospital how bad is this? HELP

    • ANSWER:
      Tinky, I am so sorry you are about to begin a journey fighting ovarian cancer. I also have ovarian cancer along with breast cancer. You will be in the hospital for a few days. During your surgery you will at least have a hysterectomy which means your uterus will be removed, a salpingo-oophorectomy which means your ovaries and fallopian tubes will be removed, a washing which means taking a sample of the peritoneal fluid from the abdominal cavity, your omentum will be removed, lymph nodes will be removed and check, and an appendectomy which means your appendix will be removed. The surgeon will remove part of or all of any other organs that he can see that the cancer has spread too. Staging will be done by a pathologist ask for a copy of the report. If you are staged at 3c or 4 you will qualify for social security. I am stage 3c.

      For chemotherapy, usually the first line of defense is a combination of taxol and carboplatin given every three weeks for six treatments. I recommend outpatient surgery to have a portacath put in for chemotherapy. You will be monitored during chemo for your red and white blood count. Your CA125 will also be monitored. Usually a ct scan will be done after the six rounds. If everything goes well and you do not need more surgery or more chemo, you will still have to be monitored for the rest of your life. This is done by checking your CA125 to see if there is a upward trend in the results indicating the possibility that the cancer is showing its ugly self again. I am checked every three month.

      The best advice I can give you is for you to demand that your surgeon is a gynecologic oncologist. Call the American Cancer Society and request information about ovarian cancer, which they can email it to you or snail mail it. Also, let them know your hair color to see if they can assist you in obtaining a wig. It is best to have the wig before hair loss. After you start chemo call the ACS again to sign up to attend the ACS s look good feel better . At the onetime meeting, they will give you some make up, skin care tips, and possibly a head cover or extra wig. You can also let the ACS know that you would like to talk to someone that is an ovarian cancer survivor.

  2. QUESTION:
    My friend might be lying about cancer?
    As much as I feel awful and guilty about it, something in my gut is telling me my friend is lying about having ovarian cancer. I met her 1 year ago and within a month of getting to know her, she told me she was diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer. We're both in college and at first it was really tough to see her still forcing her way to go to school after apparently taking chemo. I tried to be as supportive to her as possible because she comes from a low income family and she seemed always stressed out about money. Well after awhile, she stopped updating me about stuff and she started dating this guy, and everything seemed perfectly fine with her. They had broken up last november, and just last month, she told me she had been in remission but the doctors told her that it came back, and it's affecting her liver or kidneys and that she has to get one ovary and one fallopian tube removed.

    Me and another friend told her to tell us when the procedure would get done so we can visit her and bring flowers and fruits and if not at the hospital, visit her in her home. But then she goes, oh, i'm actually gonna get it done in san francisco (we live in AZ) cause apparently her cousin who just graduated from med school got onto her case and was able to fly her and her 3 doctors here to get it done over a weekend and so she can be placed under her insurance since her family doesn't have insurance. She was back in school within monday still going to classes. So i was pretty shocked that she would be back within a few days. Then apparently the chemo treatment she's been going under for the past month hasn't been working and she said the doctors told her it had become stage 3 cancer and needs to take a full dose of chemo. She says she has been, but she's still going to school and I hadn't noticed changes in her appearance such as weight loss or hair loss. I catch little things that she says that don't fit with her story, like how she's not allowed to drive claimed by the DMV, but she had told me that she went to go sing at an open mic and I asked her if she went with family but she went by herself. She lives far from school and i don't think the major city bus system goes all the way in her area to take her. Then she told me she's not allowed to have alcohol cause of her kidneys and last night she told me she went on a date and had beer.

    I don't know if I'm being awful, but a lot of things she says don't make sense anymore. She's never introduced me to her family or invited me and other friends over. She also practically memorized my class and work schedule and calls me the minute I'm out to hangout with me. I try to, but sometimes I'm just so busy cause I'm graduating this semester and need to keep my grades up. She gets upset if I make other plans. So i don't know how i feel anymore. Is she looking for attention? Or am I the one in the wrong here?
    I agree, we're both majoring in the sciences and she works in a lab that deals with bacteria, e.coli, and viruses, and I thought that being there is way too risky for her.

    • ANSWER:
      1. First line treatment for Stage 2 ovarian cancer is IMMEDIATE removal of ovaries, and many times, includes a complete hysterectomy.
      2. If the cancer had spread to kidneys and/or liver, it would be classified as Stage 4 and would be considered to be metastatic disease.
      3. Insurance companies do NOT allow someone to be "added" to another's policy for a weekend.
      4. If she had no insurance, then who paid for the "original" chemo?
      5. Insurance companies do NOT fly three doctors in from another state to perform a procedure that is relatively routine. Especially in a world-class city such as San Francisco.
      6. A med school graduate usually has very few "connections" to make such a major event happen.
      7. Your friend is a "cancer wannabe" and should be completely ignored.
      8. She's lying.

  3. QUESTION:
    How long after undergoing chemotherapy does a person regain their strength?
    Someone close to me has had ovarian cancer (a woman in her early 60's). She has undergone surgery for it as well as chemotherapy. Now, about two years later she barely has any energy and gets tired very quickly. I wonder why she isn't regaining her strength now that she's cancer-free. Will she ever gain her strength back? I've seen people beat cancer and get back to being their old selves, healthy as ever. Could her age be responsible for her slow recovery? Does this mean that she may not be getting better, but rather progressively worse?

    • ANSWER:
      I went in for minor surgery a year ago this past March, in which they found Ovarian Cancer.
      Eight hours of surgery, and they removed everything. I was totally unaware that I had cancer. I had no symptoms and was in excellent health. Lived a very healthy lifestyle, vegetarian, worked out 4 days a week and practiced Ayruveda....
      I was a stage 1C, with 16 weeks of Chemo every three weeks. Each treatment would last 8 hours.
      I really never had any side effects except the hair loss and a bit of numbness in my fingertips and on the bottom of my toes.
      I felt wonderful after my treatments as a matter of fact, and really never experienced any reprocusions.

      I believe that with your friend, it depends on the type of Chemo administered to her, and how long she endured the treatments.
      She definetly needs to inform her Oncologist of this, and ask him is this is a result of the treatment.
      If she is cancer free and not needing any further treatment that would interfere with her immune system, then she certainly should have recovered her strength back.
      Please insist that she gets a check up.

      I would also recommend that she takes Cayenne Pepper in capsul form. This will increase her energy levels for sure. She must take it with food and I would recommend milk also.
      I take about 20 different spices and herbs every day, and this is what attributed to no side effects from Chemo....
      Everything is natural and can be purchased at a Health Food Store in your area...
      If you would like more information as to what spices may help her, please feel free to contact me.

      My prayers and thoughts are with her....

  4. QUESTION:
    Chemotheraphy after affects?
    My freind is a ( X Herion user , says he hasnt used in 4 yrs ) when I saw him yesterday he was wasted, said he just came from his Chemo treatment...he was out of it..this is about his 3rd chemo treatment...cant tell if hes lieing and high or what NEED HELP ASAP!!!!!

    • ANSWER:
      I personally haven't undergone chemotherapy but my sister has (for stage 3 ovarian cancer), plus I'm a nurse and I've attended to lots of people in chemo. The effects of these anti-cancer drugs varies with every person...the doctors said my sis would have nausea and vomiting as well as hair loss and skin hives but thank God she only had nausea! What cancer does your friend have and what chemo drugs does he exactly take?

  5. QUESTION:
    my mother was diagnosed with multiple fybrooids?
    Her ultra sounds she has endometrial thickness is 5.4mm and smooth. Right ovary measure is 25mm and left ovary is 29mm. Conclusion of ultra is bulky uterus with multiple fibroids.
    h
    Histopathology report:

    GROSS EXAMINATION. SPECIMEN CONTAINER IS LABLED WITH PATIENTS RELEVANT INFORMATION RECEIVED IN FORMALIN IS LIGHT BROWN PIECE OF TISSUE MEASURING 2*1*1 CM. sUBMITTED AS SUCH IN c-1.

    mICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION. tHE SCETIONS REVEAL EARLY SECRETORY PHASE ENDOMETRIUM tHE STROMA HAS MODERATE INFILTRATION BY LYMPHOCYTES AND PLASMA CELLS.

    DIAGNOSIS: EARLY SECRETORY ENDOMETRIUM WITH CHRONIC ENDOMETRITIS.

    She is taking injection once a month for three months to shrink the fibroids. I think the name of injection is lukrine depot S/C.

    Is this treatment for this paticular condition?

    Is this something like cancer or it is cancer or early stages of cancer.

    Does this hitopathology report sings of cancer or not cancer?

    • ANSWER:
      I'm not a Dr/medical professional either...just a woman whose original diagnosis was uterine fibroids. Well it wasn't just fibroids, it was a rare form of uterine cancer which by the time they did some simple blood work, it was stage 4. I am on a drug called Lupron-Depo (which sounds similar to what your mom is on as well). Lupron can have some nasty side effects...the worst of which fir me was hair loss (thinning) and hot flashes like you wouldn't believe,,,but it does work quite well. I would ask for blood tests for tumor markers (one is CA-125 usually it is for ovarian cancer, but I have a rare cancer and CA-125 is indicative). Anyway..if you and your mom are worried, please please get second and 3rd opinions. If I had maybe I would have only been stage 1 or 2 when they found it.

  6. QUESTION:
    Comparing/contrasting chemotherapy VS radiation .. please answer...?
    1. what is it used for?
    2. what happens biologically?
    3. what are the side effects or risk involved?
    4. which treatment is most commonly used?
    5. which types of cancers benefit most from one treatment or the other?
    6. is chemotherapy or radiation used in conjunction with other cancer treatment?
    7. what other illness can these treatments be useful for? why?
    8. what other illness can these treatments be used for?

    its not my homework. i was just helping some kids and i need answers
    thanks a bunch

    • ANSWER:
      1. Chemotherapy is a systemic (body-wide) treatment which targets and destroys highly active cells such as cancer cells.
      2. There are many different types of chemotherapy drugs used, all with slightly different ways of acting. On the whole they aim to disrupt DNA synthesis in cancer cells, thus stopping cancer cell replication. Some chemotherapy drugs simply cause highly replicating cells to 'commit suicide' via apoptosis.

      3. Since chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, the whole body is exposed to and is slightly damaged by the drug. Other fastly replicating cells such as hair cells, stomach cells and in men sperm cells are damaged/destroyed, thus the person will often experience hair loss, sickness, vomiting diarrhoea, and male patients run the serious risk of becoming infertile.

      4. There are so many different treatments and I am by no means an oncologist, I only know a couple by name.

      5. Different cancers do respond differently to different chemo agents. Cisplatin for example is used in small cell lung cancer, ovarian and testicular cancer.

      Typically small cell lung cancer and testicular cancer respond very well to chemotherapy, the key thing is to catch the cancer at an early enough stage.

      6. Both chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often used in tandem to remove cancer cells. The classic example is in breast cancer where chemo and radiotherapy are used after surgery to clean up any remaining cells. Also in several cancers, new more specific drugs which target only the cancer cell itself have been developed and can be used alongside chemo and radio. Again in breast cancer tamoxifen (an estrogen receptor agent) and herceptin (HR receptor agent) can sometimes be used also, these are NOT chemo agents. Similarly in chronic myeloid leukaemia, new genetic based drugs such as imatinib target specific areas of DNA which are ONLY in cancerous cells, pretty nifty!

      7. Chemo agents can be used for other illnesses though I know very little about this, but some autoimmune diseases can have a benefit.

      Sorry I dont have time for radiotherapy but basically it is what it says on the tin. High strength radiation aimed at the site of the cancer cells and destroys the cellular DNA thus destabilizing the cancer. Unfortunately it also destroys the healthy skin surrounding it so can only be used in certain places. Radiotherapy is good for reducing the size of tumours prior to surgery, also good for bone cancers.

      Unfortunately both chemotherapy and radiotherapy increase the risk of further cancer in and of themselves, thus children with leukaemia treated with these are at risk from drug-induced cancers in later life.


stage 4 ovarian cancer treatment hair loss