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Can Hair Loss Be A Sign Of Cancer

Is A Pituitary Tumor A Brain Tumor

Dealing with Hair Loss from Cancer Treatment

The pituitary gland is NOT in the brain and pituitary tissue is different from brain tissue. Since the pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and is connected to the brain by a thin stalk, there is often confusion, particularly by insurance companies, about the classification of a pituitary tumor. A pituitary tumor is NOT a brain tumor.

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How Brain Metastases Are Treated

If diagnosed and treated early, brain metastases usually respond to therapy. Your treatment plan will depend on the size and number of tumors, where theyre located in the brain, the genetic characteristics of the cancer cells, and the extent of disease outside the brain as well as your overall health. Treatment may include:

Surgery. For patients with only one or two brain metastases that are easy to access, or a larger tumor thats causing compressive symptoms, surgery can be very effective, says Dr. Berman. Surgery, which may involve the complete or partial removal of a tumor to help alleviate symptoms, is typically followed by whole-brain radiation.

If your lung cancer doesnt carry these specific mutations or has metastasized elsewhere in the body, other systemic therapies, such as immunotherapy and chemotherapy, may be considered.

Palliative care. This type of specialized medical care, which can include physical therapy, relaxation techniques, exercise, speech therapy, and pain management, is also a key component of treatment for patients with metastatic NSCLC. These complementary approaches can help mitigate the side effects of both the cancer and its treatment and significantly improve quality of life. Information and support for people with lung cancer and their families is available at the Lung Cancer Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education .

What Kind Of Treatment Follow

Regular follow-up treatment is extremely important after treatment for a brain tumor. Besides regular physical and neurological exams and blood tests, you may need periodic magnetic resonance imaging , MR spectroscopy, perfusion or diffusion MRI, and/or computed tomography . Positron emission tomography scans are rarely used in patients with brain tumors, although they may be used to monitor extracranial disease. Your physician may also recommend home care, occupational or vocational therapy, pain management, physical therapy and participation in support groups.

This follow-up care will help your physician to:

  • spot any sign that the tumor is returning
  • monitor the health of your brain
  • identify and treat the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • detect the presence of other types of cancer at the earliest possible stage

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Does Cancer Cause Hair Loss

It iswidely assumed that if you have cancer, you will eventually lose all your hair.But is cancer itself the hair-loss culprit? The answer is no.

Alopecia,or hair loss, occurs as a secondary result of chemotherapy and radiationtreatment. Both chemotherapy and radiation attack the rapidly growing cancercells in your body. The treatment may also attack other normal, fast-growingcells, like the cells in your hair roots.

Although many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss, its a myth that all cancer patients receiving treatment will experience alopecia. The severity of your hair loss will vary depending on which medications youre taking, the drug dosage, and the frequency of treatment. While some patients experience only a mild thinning of hair, others may have more severe complications. Other types of treatment, such as radiation, will only cause hair loss on the area being treated.

So When Do You Need To Be Aware Of Your Hair Loss

Cancer Treatment Hair Loss 101

To answer the question: Can hair loss be a sign of something serious? You should be aware when you lose your hair. Even though this might not even mean that you are greatly ill, it always means that there is something going on. In this article we hope that we have helped, you to find out your cause of hair loss. But when you are not certain and not using any medicines, we advise you to go to your doctor. Because if you suffer from hormonal changes or some underlying disease it is best that you find this out as soon as possible.

In conclusion, hair loss can be a sign of something serious. But most of the conditions that cause hair loss are possible to treat with a shampoo, conditioner and lotion might be enough. In other cases some diseases or hormonal changes are leading to hair loss.

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How To Prevent And Manage Hair Loss

If youre receiving treatment for breast cancer that can cause hair loss, its important to know you have options. Below, you can learn about ways to prevent and manage hair loss as a side effect of breast cancer treatments.

If chemotherapy medicines that will cause hair loss are part of your breast cancer treatment plan, there are steps you can take to prepare, possibly lessen hair loss, and protect your hair as it grows back. Learn more about Managing Hair Loss From Chemotherapy, including tips for hair loss on your head, eyebrows, and eyelashes.

Cold caps and scalp cooling systems are tightly fitting hat-like devices filled with a cold gel or liquid coolant. Cold caps and scalp cooling systems have helped many people keep some or quite a bit of their hair during chemotherapy. Learn more about Cold Caps and Scalp Cooling Systems

Many people find that wearing a wig is a good solution for them if they experience hair loss from breast cancer treatment. A wig can provide a sense of normalcy, consistency, and privacy during cancer treatment. Experimenting with different wig styles and colors can also be quite fun! Not sure if a wig is right for you or where to begin looking for one? Read more about wigs to learn about where to buy a wig or get one for free, how to choose one that suits you, how to care for a wig, and more.

Cancer Symptoms In Women

Breast lump or change. Although it’s a hallmark symptom of breast cancer, most lumps aren’t cancer. They’re often fluid-filled cysts or noncancerous tumors.

Still, see your doctor right away if you find any new or changing growths in your breasts, just to make sure.

Also get these changes checked out:

  • Redness or scaling of the skin over the breast
  • Breast pain
  • Lump under your arm
  • Fluid that isn’t breast milk leaking from the nipple

Bleeding between periods or after menopause. Bleeding from the vagina during women’s reproductive years is usually theirà monthly period. When it happens after menopause or outside of normal periods, cervical or endometrial cancer is a possibility. Call your doctor if you have any bleeding that’s unusual for you.

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Managing Other Peoples Reactions

Today, cancer is much more talked about than it was in the past. People are more aware of the effects of cancer treatment on hair. It is more openly discussed and accepted. But sometimes family and friends may be upset by your hair loss and find it hard not to show it. This can be difficult for you to deal with. Try to remember it is usually because they are concerned for you and may not know how to react.

What Is The Best Vitamin For Hair Loss

Cold caps help cancer patients prevent hair loss

The 5 Best Vitamins for Hair Loss Prevention, Based on Research

  • Biotin. Biotin is important for cells inside your body.
  • Iron. Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen.
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for your gut to absorb iron.
  • Vitamin D. You might already know that vitamin D is important for bones.
  • Zinc.
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    Cancer Signals In Both Men And Women

    Appetite loss. Many conditions, from depression to the flu, can make you feel less hungry. Cancer can have this effect by changing your metabolism, the way your body turns food into energy.

    Stomach, pancreatic, colon, and ovarian cancers also can put pressure on your stomach and make you feel too full to eat.

    Blood in the stool. Cancers can bleed, but so can a bunch of other things, like ulcers, hemorrhoids, infections, or a sore. When you see red in your poop, the blood is often from somewhere in your GI tract, meaning your esophagus, stomach, or intestines.

    One way to tell where the blood is coming from is by how light or dark it looks. Bright red could mean the bleeding is in your rectum or the end of your intestines. A darker color means it may be from higher up, like a stomach ulcer.

    No matter what the cause, blood in your stool needs to be checked out. You may need a colonoscopy or other tests to find the problem.

    Blood in the urine. When it shows up in your pee, blood could be a warning sign of a problem in your urinary tract. Kidney or bladder cancer can cause this symptom, but it could also be due to an infection, kidney stones, or kidney disease.

    Cough that doesn’t go away. A cold or the flu can make you hack away, but it’s also a potential symptom of lung cancer, along with red flags like chest pain, weight loss, hoarseness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. See your doctor if you can’t seem to shake it, especially if you’re a smoker.

    Lung Cancer Tops The List Of Cancers That Metastasize To The Scalp

    Focal alopecia refers to hair loss in a single area of the scalp. Common causes of focal alopecia include alopecia areata, tine capitis, infections, trauma, trichotillomania. Cancer is another cause of focal alopecia – albeit an uncommon one.

    Scalp metastases refer to cancer the started in another organ and then the cancer spread to other parts of the body, including the scalp. Less than 2 % of patients that are known to have metastatic cancer will experience scalp metastases.

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    Treating Cancer Treatment Hair Loss

    The good news is that, generally speaking, telogen effluvium corrects itself.

    Essentially, when the stressor is stopped, the follicles in telogen effluvium will gradually return to the anagen phase as theyre ready and no longer inhibited.

    Of course, as long as your cancer is active, your first priority should be treating it, and so as much as you may not want to lose your hair, chemo is almost certainly a necessary evil.

    But there are other things you can do during and after treatment to help the problem.

    During the treatment, the most important thing you can do is simply take care of yourself.

    Reduce additional stressors physical and psychological from your life. Take it easy, and do things that are good for your body.

    Eat well seriously. Evidence suggests that alopecia during chemotherapy may be exacerbated by poor nutritional health.

    As exhausting as it may be, taking care of your health during this most taxing period makes it all the more important that you follow through.

    After the chemo has concluded, the story is different. Your hair will begin to return to normal on its own, but helping it along is an option.

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, two products in particular can help you reduce and potentially reverse hair loss: finasteride and minoxidil. They work slightly differently, and complement each other well in most cases.

    Weve talked more about DHTs role in hair loss in our guide to DHT and male hair loss.

    Caring For Your Hair And Head

    Can Excessive Hair Loss Be a Sign of Cancer?

    Here are some ways you can care for your hair and head while youre experiencing hair loss:

    • Wash and condition your hair every 2 to 4 days. Use baby shampoo or other mild shampoo . You should also use a cream rinse or hair conditioner.
    • Use shampoos and conditioners that have sunscreen to prevent sun damage to your scalp.
    • Always rinse your hair well and pat it dry with a soft towel.
    • Wash your hair after swimming in a pool.
    • Dont expose your scalp to the sun.
    • Keep your head covered in the summer.
    • In the winter, cover your head with a hat, scarf, turban, or wig to keep it warm. This can also help to catch falling hair.
    • Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase. These are smoother than other fabrics and can decrease hair tangles.
    • Brush or comb your hair gently with a soft-bristle brush or comb. Start brushing or combing your hair at the ends and gently work your way up to your scalp. You can also comb through your hair with your fingers. Wet your fingers with water first.
    • If your hair is long, you may want to have it cut short before you begin treatment.
    • Tell your hairdresser that youre receiving chemotherapy. They may be able to recommend gentle hair products.
    • Try using Bumble and bumble Hair Powder to cover bald spots and thinning areas of your hair. You can buy it at Sephora® or online from various beauty supply websites.

    Dont use the following on your hair during treatment because they can be too harsh or pull on your hair:

  • Rubber bathing or swimming caps
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    When Will My Hair Grow Back

    Once you finish your treatments, your hair should begin to grow back. Hair regrowth can take 3 to 5 months. When your hair grows back, it may have a different texture or color. In rare cases, your hair wont grow back as fully as it did before.

    There is a very small risk that your hair wont grow back after radiation therapy to your head.

    What Causes Hair Loss

    First, your doctor or dermatologist will try to determine the underlying cause of your hair loss. The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary male- or female-pattern baldness.

    If you have a family history of baldness, you may have this type of hair loss. Certain sex hormones can trigger hereditary hair loss. It may begin as early as puberty.

    In some cases, hair loss may occur with a simple halt in the cycle of hair growth. Major illnesses, surgeries, or traumatic events can trigger hair loss. However, your hair will usually start growing back without treatment.

    Hormonal changes can cause temporary hair loss. Examples include:

    • heart problems

    A physical or emotional shock may trigger noticeable hair loss. Examples of this type of shock include:

    • a death in the family
    • extreme weight loss
    • a high fever

    People with trichotillomania have a need to pull out their hair, usually from their head, eyebrows, or eyelashes.

    Traction hair loss can be due to hairstyles that put pressure on the follicles by pulling the hair back very tightly.

    A diet lacking in protein, iron, and other nutrients can also lead to thinning hair.

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