OCT 27, 2016 6:12 AM PDT

How Chemotherapy Causes Hair Loss


One of the more difficult parts of a cancer diagnosis is hair loss. Depending on what kid of chemotherapy regimen a patient undergoes, and the severity of the disease, some patients will keep their hair, but many patients lose it. It has to do with how cancer works. When cells grow and divide normally, a process called mitosis, it's all good. When cancer happens, cells go into overdrive, replicating and spreading the disease into tumors, sometimes even moving to other parts of the body via the bloodstream or lymphatic system. The goal of chemotherapy is to shut down the rampant mitosis, but many of the regularly used drugs shut down all cell growth, not just the cancerous cells.

Hair cells are naturally pretty fast at dividing, since the hair is constantly growing. Chemo drugs act on these cells, and other fast dividing cells and the result is that new hair growth is shut down and eventually the hair is starved of new cells and falls out. Once the medication is stopped however, the cells are back at it and most of the time hair is regrown. While hair loss and other side effects from chemo are a drag, if the end result is good health, then it's a fair trade.
About the Author
English
I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
NOV 27, 2020
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
A common entity that connects everything from majestically looking galaxies and nebula to the enormously diversified bio ...
MAR 06, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Find Tectonic Activity on Exoplanet
MAR 06, 2021
Astronomers Find Tectonic Activity on Exoplanet
For the first time, researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland have found evidence of tectonic activity on a ...
APR 01, 2021
Health & Medicine
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
APR 01, 2021
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
Drinking hot cocoa is comforting on cold winter nights, and new research from the University of Birmingham shows that it ...
JUN 22, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Report Finds Most First-Time Cannabis Users are Women
JUN 22, 2021
Report Finds Most First-Time Cannabis Users are Women
Chicago-based cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabis-focused market research organization, Brightfield Group, has published a ne ...
JUL 03, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Size of Planet Iron Core Depends on Star Magnetism
JUL 03, 2021
Size of Planet Iron Core Depends on Star Magnetism
Researchers led by the University of Maryland have found that the sun's magnetic field is the reason behind the larg ...
JUL 16, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Melting Mountain Glaciers in Asia Release Greenhouse Gas
JUL 16, 2021
Melting Mountain Glaciers in Asia Release Greenhouse Gas
High mountain glaciers that are melting in the Tibetan plateau in Asia contain greenhouse gases and should be counted in ...
Loading Comments...