Hair Loss due to Radiation - Brain Tumors

In the next few weeks I will begin 6 weeks of radiation. I am terrified/depressed about losing hair. My one tumor (I have twins) will be radiated on the right side above my ear. Is it possible that any of you have not lost hair?

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My sister had radiation on the right side above her ear. She only lost her hair in that area. She was able to cover it with the rest of her hair.

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My one tumor (GBM) was located in the left parietal area. My radiation oncologist prepared me for hair loss, and she was right - I ended up with a large area of baldness, primarily on the crown of my head. I was devastated, but my tumor stayed in remission for almost 36 months, so it was a good trade-off. I now manage my bald spot (the hair never grew back in that area) with a bonded hairpiece, which works out GREAT. The name of the hair replacement system is Transitions. If your hair loss cannot be covered up with existing hair, look this system up on the internet.

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My husband only lost in the area that was radiated,and it grew back quickly. kathy

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Hi Briggs. What type of tumor did your husband have and how many weeks? Did he lose the hair in a big one area?

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Hi Ichrist,
I am sorry for what you are going through. I had gamma radiation on feb. 21 and did not start to lose my hair until almost 3 weeks later. I didn't realize that I lost so much until after a sunny day watching my young girls play during my son's baseball game. Later that week I realized that I was burnt on the top of my head. Honestly, the vanity wasn't emotional as much as seeing that the brain tumor is real but I can't quite understand why and how all of this could have changed. Not many people have noticed the loss of hair which is crazy to me because it is a huge chunk missing at the top of my head. The only person that has truely seen it is my 6feet 5 inches husband because when we hug, that it what he sees. I don't know if this helps but I needed you to know.

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He had his removed,and then had radiation to stop it from returning. His was an AA3. He never lost all his hair,and this is a year later,and has lots of hair. briggs

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Talk to your radiation oncologist about it. Depending on the location, there may be tricks including IMRT that may allow your hair to recover better. Hair loss is usually patchy, so consider keeping some length for artful styling. The downside to that is the longer the strands are, the harder it is to watch them fall out.

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Hi! I can sympathize with you. There are so many "maybes" with brain tumor treatments, and everyone is different, and it really can cause a lot of anxiety knowing that certain things can happen but then again they might not. With the hair loss, it depends on a lot of things - the strength of the radiation that you are having, on the location that's being radiated, and maybe on the diagnosis, I'm not sure. I had 6 wks. of radiation for a cavernous sinus meningioma that was also affecting my optic nerve, so most of the radiation was going to an area that really did not have too much hair. But I did not lose any hair at all. And I remember looking at websites that sold wigs and hairpieces, and bought wide brim hats for the sun (which aren't a bad idea anyway!) in case I lost hair, but I didn't lose any. Again, I think it depends on the strength of radiation and the location to some degree, but that was my experience. I also had Gamma Knife to another meningioma, and that can also cause hair loss to the area that was treated, but I didn't lose any hair that time, either. Good luck!

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OHGosh people! Who cares about a little hair!! Radiation disrupts rapid replicating cells and chemo attacks them (e.g. the cancer cells and unfortunatly hair folicals!) Laugh about it, make light of it / little jokes and be happy you have lost some hair... Or if you just cannot adjust, cover it up... But be happy, love, hug and enjoy your life the best you possibly can. Much love - many prayers -may God send all of you his light...

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In my 4th week of radiation and chemo. (temodar), for GBM. Just started to notice hair loss on right side of fontal lobe above ear. It looks almost lke alopecia (bald spot). Wishing and praying for all the best.

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I had right temporal lobe and had hair remvoed to access the site prior to surgery. When the staples were in post op, my friends said that my inner punk surfaced. Make it what it is. If you fell you need hair the American Cencer society has a wig bank in most areas. One of my friends with breast cancer used a wig in the winter time only to keep her head warm. When the weather changed she moved to bennie hats. I also have had many gifts of hats for the Summer and plan to use them. In my picture I developed a turban with an ace wrap to keep the staples coved and to keep the bandage on. I may go back to that when the weather changes, or go blond with a wig. Attitude is the most important aspect so the most positive is best. Hair regrows. May tumors not.

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I had six weeks of radiation for a tumor in my left temporal lobe. They radiated my whole head though because the type of cancer I have can go through your whole brain. But the intensive radiation was where the tumor was. I lost my hair in that spot, but it did grow back. The biggest problem I had with the radiation was that my scar from my surgery broke open again. I have had a lot of problems with wound healing. But all my MRI's (a year and a half later) have come out clear. So it's all worth it. I have now had a replacement flap to cover the wound and that area will never grow hair. So I have lots of hats. I tried the wig, but it wasn't for me yet. We'll see as time goes on. But just so happy to be alive and enjoying every day that I wake up! Praying for you today.

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Thanks for all your replays. I am done with radiation in just 8 days. I've lost hair close to my forehead all the way to my ear and a spot in the back of my head. Still coming out. Just a quick update. Wish you all the best.

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I am so sorry you have to go through this at your age. I don't know about regular radiation but Gamma Knife radiation continues to have hair loss weeks after it has been done. My procedure was done on Feb. 21 on a tumor that is 3cm in size but my hair loss is much bigger. I found out later that my head was radiated for 66 minutes and 21 seconds, that may have something to do with it. I don't mind it much if it gets rid of the tumor but I don't want my young girls to see it in fear that it will scare them. I am lucky that I have enough hair to style it where the bald area is somewhat covered or I just pull it all back. I hope this helps out. Wishing you well and a wonderful weekend.
Youngmom

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I end my radiation in 4 days. Wondering when you started having your hair grow back again. They suggested 4-6 weeks but some people i have talked to said their hair started growing 4 weeks after.

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Kind of funny my hair is so grey on top of my jess that it is hard to tell if it is growing back. I have lost so much that the growth hasn't made a difference. As long as my kids aren't dramatized by it, I'm okay. How about those big head bands while your hair is growing back. Hope you are well. Enjoy your weekend.
Youngmom

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Ichrist,

My husband has gorgeous silver hair. After rad. he lost hair in that rt temple area and his "sexy gray at the temples" is now a brown stripe. Still looks pretty darn good to us. Good luck to you. Sending prayers.

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I have been back to work for 2 weeks now and have tried the comb over from the non radiation side to hide the radiation side where most of my hair loss is. I wore a hat for the first couple of days but since I took it off, I don't have anyone looking at me. My hair is growing back in but slowly. I am 5 weeks post radiation on the right temple where most of the hair loss is. I have lost some on my left temple and some at the very back. I had my hair cut when it was falling out and my hair dresser came up with the cut that seems to work. The rate of re growth depends on how your hair was before the radition and chemo. One of my co workers now ha currly hair rather then staights.

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My dad only lost his hair in the area that he had the radiation. It is now starting to grow back and fill in. He finished radiation at the end of May.

Good luck to you!
Heather
http://tryingtosurviveonemomentatatime.wordpress.com/

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I went through 8 weeks of radiation but look at me now... I lost All my hair and it took time to come back .I made the best of it I always had short wavy hair so I got a wig with Long straight hair plus I got hats ans bandanas for the summer when it got really hot out! It's not easy but let that be the worst of it! No need to worry! It will grow back.....

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