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Can Colon Cancer Cause Hair Loss

Hair Regrowth After Chemo

Hair loss due to Chemotherapy | My Cancer Journey

For most people, chemo-related hair loss is temporary. After chemo stops and your follicles are healthy, your hair should start to grow back. Look for regrowth to start within 3-6 months from your last treatment. You may even see a bit of regrowth while youâre still in treatment.

If you choose to wear a scarf or wig, you can continue to do so for as long as you want — it wonât damage or stunt your new hair.

New hair needs lots of TLC. It may show up in patches, or even with a different color or texture than it did before.

Donât color, bleach, perm, or straighten it: Much like the rest of your body, itâs best if you give it a chance to grow healthy and strong.

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What Else Should I Know

Cancer treatment has come a long way. But it can be hard for kids and teens to cope with the sometimes painful or uncomfortable side effects of treatment. Fortunately, doctors have many ways to make treatments easier to manage.

Your child also might feel the emotional effects of having a serious illness. Answer questions and help explain what’s going on in an age-appropriate way. You also can talk with the care team. A hospital support group, life specialist, social worker, or psychologist from the care team can help your child and your whole family before, during, and after cancer treatment.

Hair Loss From Radiation

Radiation causes hair loss only on the part of your body that is being treated. For example, you will lose some or all of the hair on your head if you have radiation for a brain tumour. Or you will lose the hair on your leg if you are having radiation to your leg.

Hair loss usually doesn’t occur right away. More often, your hair will begin falling out within a few weeks of treatment. After your hair starts falling out, it takes about a week for you to lose all the hair in the area you are getting radiation.

Hair usually grows back within 3 to 6 months after falling out. But sometimes with very high dose of radiation, hair doesn’t grow back. When hair does grow back, it may be a different colour or texture.

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What Conditions Are Associated With Colorectal Cancer

  • Polyps: There are a variety of polyps that can form on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. Precancerous polyps can turn into colorectal cancer. People with numerous polypsincluding adenomas, serrated polyps or other types of polypsoften have a genetic predisposition to polyposis and colorectal cancer. These individuals should be managed differently than people with only one to two colorectal polyps.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease:Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis are conditions in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed. People with these conditions, when present for more than seven years and affecting a large portion of the colon, are at greater risk for developing colorectal cancer.
  • Personal history: A person who already has had colorectal adenomas or cancer may develop the disease a second time. Also, a history of inflammatory bowel disease can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Family history: Sometimes colon cancer runs in families. This type of moderately increased cancer risk can be called a “familial colon cancer.” When a person has a hereditary cancer susceptibility, he or she has inherited a copy of a cancer susceptibility gene with a mutation. Individuals who inherit a mutation in a cancer susceptibility gene have a much greater chance for developing cancer. However, not everyone with a cancer susceptibility gene mutation will develop cancer. Genetic testing is available for these colorectal cancer syndromes.

Chemo Less Likely To Cause Hair Loss

Can Colon Cancer Cause Hair Loss

Some chemotherapy drugs result in only minimal hair loss, though these are often combined with drugs that cause more hair loss. These include:

  • The platinums: Paraplatin , Platinol , Eloxatin
  • Antitumor antibiotics: Bleo 15K , Mutamicin , low doses of epirubicin or doxorubicin
  • Antimetabolites: Trexall, Otrexup, Rasuvo
  • Oral cyclophosphamide
  • Topoisomerase inhibitors: Novantrone , Hycamtin or Potactasol
  • Alkylating agents: Hexalen

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Hair Loss And Colon Cancer

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Male Pattern Baldness May Increase Risk Of Colon Cancer

A new first-of-its-kind study has found a link between certain types of male pattern baldness and increased risk of colorectal polyps. Such polyps can be precursors to colorectal cancer.

In men with frontal baldness and with frontal-plus-mild-vertex baldness , researchers found approximately 30% increased risk of colon cancer relative to men with no baldness, said NaNa Keum, research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study, in a January 14, 2016 interview in MedicalResearch.com.

It may be prudent for males with frontal-only-baldness or frontal-plus-mild-vertex-baldness at age 45 years, although their elevated risk is modest, to consult physicians about colonoscopy screening guidelines, Keum said.

For the study, published January 12, 2016 in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers followed about 33,000 men over an average of nearly 16 years who were participants in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

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What Are The Most Common Cancers That Metastasize To The Scalp

Lung cancer is the most common cancer that is associated with scalp metastases. Of all metastases to the scalp, lung cancer is the most common at 24 % followed by colon , liver and breast . Kidney and ovary remain other causes on the list. In 30 % of cases, the exact origin cant be precisely determined. There are many types of lung cancer and it remains debated as to which of the types is really the most likely contributor to scalp metastases .

Signs And Symptoms Of Bowel Cancer

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The three main symptoms of bowel cancer are blood in the stools , a change in bowel habit, such as more frequent, looser stools, and abdominal pain.

However, these symptoms are very common. Blood in the stools is usually caused by haemorrhoids , and a change in bowel habit or abdominal pain is often the result of something you have eaten.

In the UK, an estimated 7 million people have blood in the stools each year. Even more people have temporary changes in their bowel habits and abdominal pain. Most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer.

As the vast majority of people with bowel cancer are over the age of 60, these symptoms are more important as people get older. These symptoms are also more significant when they persist in spite of simple treatments.

Most patients with bowel cancer present with one of the following symptom combinations:

  • a persistent change in bowel habit, causing them to go to the toilet more often and pass looser stools, usually together with blood on or in their stools
  • a persistent change in bowel habit without blood in their stools, but with abdominal pain
  • blood in the stools without other haemorrhoid symptoms, such as soreness, discomfort, pain, itching, or a lump hanging down outside the back passage
  • abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always provoked by eating, sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss

The symptoms of bowel cancer can be subtle and don’t necessarily make you feel ill.

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How Colorectal Cancer Is Treated

In cancer care, different types of doctors often work together to create a patients overall treatment plan that usually includes or combines different types of treatments. This is called a multidisciplinary team. For colorectal cancer, this generally includes a surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, and a gastroenterologist. A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in the function and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Cancer care teams include a variety of other health care professionals, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, and others.

The common types of treatments used for colorectal cancer are described below, followed by a brief outline of treatment options listed by stage. Your care plan may also include treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care.

Studies have shown that these various treatment approaches provide similar benefits regardless of the patients age. However, older adults may have unique treatment challenges. Learn more about the specific effects of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy on older adults. In order to tailor the treatment to each patient, all treatment decisions should consider such factors as:

Below are explanations about each main type of colorectal cancer treatment.

Thyroid Problems And Hair Loss

While the thyroid may seem entirely separate from the hairs on your head, the two are more connected than you may realize. Remember, the thyroid is involved with metabolism throughout the body, and this process includes supporting your hair follicles .

Thyroid hormones are directly involved with functions in the hair follicle. Too much or too little thyroid hormones can contribute to an extended resting phase, resulting in more hair shedding. This thyroid problem is known as telogen effluvium, which is also often triggered by extreme stress or traumatic moments .

The good news about telogen effluvium is that it is generally temporary, and it can be reversed once you address the underlying thyroid condition.

Itâs important to understand that hair loss can have numerous causes and that itâs normal for most people to have thinning hair as they get older. However, if youâve tried hair loss or regrowth treatments to no avail, it may be worth getting your thyroid levels tested with the Everlywellat-home thyroid test. This may explain underlying health issues you may have been experiencing along with hair loss.

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Why You May Experience Acne After Going Off Birth Control

Certain subsets of hormonal birth control can improve hormonal acne while on it. Combined hormonal contraceptives are birth control methods that contain estrogen and progestin, says King, noting these are often found in forms such as the pill, patch, or ring. Birth control pills that contain these two hormones are often helpful for hormonal acne because the estrogen they contain can suppress the ovaries production of androgens and increase a protein called sex-hormone binding globulin in the blood. This protein binds free testosterone in the bloodstream, so then less testosterone is available to cause sebum production and acne.

See, sex hormones have several notable influences on our skin. As King noted, estrogen decreases sebum production , while testosterone increases sebum production. If youre genetically predisposed to acne, any increase in sebum production can cause breakouts.

So, when you go off these forms of birth control, the hormonal acne you are experiencing is simply your skin responding to the lack of estrogen from birth control, as well as the resurgence of testosterone.

When you stop taking oral contraceptive pills, you lose any benefit for acne they were providing, and acne may consequently worsen. Also, for several months after discontinuing OCP, hormone levels go through an adjustment phase, and acne may particularly flare during this window, says King.

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Insomnia And Colorectal Cancer

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Many colorectal cancer patients report that they occasionally have trouble sleeping or that they cant sleep at all . Lack of sleep can lead to other issues such as fatigue, loss of concentration, headaches, and irritability.

To minimize the impact of insomnia, focus on these three possible solutions: managing other side effects of cancer or treatment, creating a good sleep routine, and talking to your healthcare team.

Manage other colorectal cancer side effects.

Some side effects of cancer treatment can lead to difficulty sleeping. If you can minimize those side effects, then your sleep may improve.


Nausea may make it difficult for you to go to sleep, and vomiting may wake you up at night.

  • Sleeping with your head slightly elevated may help you get more comfortable.
  • If your doctor has prescribed medication for nausea, make sure you take it as recommended, especially before bedtime.


Any type of pain can keep you up at night and make it difficult to be comfortable.

  • Make sure you take pain medication as recommended, especially before bedtime.

Weight Gain

If you gained weight as a result of colorectal cancer treatment, you may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. The extra weight can make it difficult to get comfortable. It can also make sleeping more difficult because your body has to work a little harder to function normally, such as regulating breathing.

  • Try using a body pillow to give you more sleeping positions.

Hormonal Changes

Stress and Anxiety

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What Happens If I Have Colorectal Cancer

If you have colon or rectal cancer, treatment depends on which type of cancer it is, how big it is, and whether it has spread. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy. Many people get more than one type of treatment. Its important to talk openly with your doctor and ask questions if you dont understand something. Here is a list of questions to ask your doctor that you can take with you.

Why Chemo Causes Hair Loss

Hair loss is very common during chemotherapy for breast cancer as well as other cancers, though some drugs and methods of administration are more likely than others to disrupt hair follicles.

Chemotherapy drugs work systemically by interfering with the division and growth of rapidly growing cells.

While these drugs can be effective in eliminating cancer cells, they also damage normal cells that divide rapidly. This includes hair follicles , cells in the digestive tract , and cells in bone marrow .

The keratinocytes in the hair follicle divide faster than many malignant cells, and they have a good blood supply that delivers chemotherapy agents to them efficiently. Their fast metabolism also puts them under oxidative stress, which a chemotherapy drug can enhance to the point that the cell dies.

Whether or not you develop hair loss, and the degree to which you do if so, depends on a number of factors including:

  • The dose of chemotherapy: Higher doses generally have a greater risk for hair loss.
  • How often the chemotherapy is given: More frequent doses carry more risk.
  • The route of administration: Intravenous drugs are more likely to cause hair loss than oral drugs.
  • The drugs or combination of drugs you receive: Some are more likely to cause hair loss than others, and receiving a combination of drugs increases the risk.
  • Your individual makeup: Some people are more likely to lose hair than others, even with the same doses of the same drugs.

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