Why did Angel only lose her hair on the top of her head?
Proton beam therapy treats cancer by using high-energy rays that break down the dna in cells, stopping at the tumour, and therefore doing as little harm as possible to normal cells.
Unlike chemotherapy, radio and proton beam therapy causes hair loss only in the area being treated. For example, if you have proton beam therapy to your head like Angel did, you’ll probably lose some hair from your scalp in the area where the proton beam goes into and out of your scalp.
Will Angel’s hair grow back?
Hair doesn’t always grow back after radiotherapy treatment. Some people have permanent hair loss or find that the hair that grows back is patchy. (It can also come back a different colour or style – e.g. curly instead of straight, and vice versa).
I have cancer, will I lose my hair?
Your doctor or radiographer will discuss the possibility of permanent hair loss and other side effects with you before you start your treatment.
Did Angel wear a wig? What if hair doesn’t grow back?
Angel didn’t wear a wig, my Mum did actually buy her some hair pieces, but she wasn’t too worried about her hair loss as both Bev and I mentioned it daily. She was always aware of the possibility of losing her hair, and took it in her stride and did not have any issues with the effects at all.
If you have patchy hair loss on your head, some people like to wear a hairpiece, wig or type of headwear like a scarf or hat. If your hair loss is permanent, it may be possible to have a hair transplant. However, this is a specialised treatment that isn’t available on the NHS. It can also be expensive and take a long time to complete. Your GP can refer you to a dermatologist (a specialist in skin conditions) or a plastic surgeon with expertise in this area if you’d like to know more about hair transplants. You can also contact a trichologist (a hair health specialist) for a referral. The Institute of Trichologists can give you more information.
How long does it take for hair to grow back?
When hair grows back, it may not be as thick as it was before. The time it takes to grow back depends on the amount of radiotherapy you’ve had and how long you had treatment for. On average, your hair will start to grow back 3-6 months after finishing your treatment, but it may take longer if the treatment dose to your scalp has been high like Angel’s has.
Does Angel get upset about her hair loss?
Not at all! She has said she wants to shave her ‘bald patch’ every year on the anniversary of completing her treatment. With all her recent troubles, Angel even says she would rather have lost all her hair than be the way she is now 😦
Is Angel’s hair growing back now? Is it the same colour?
Yup! It’s growing back fine, although there does appear to be a tiny difference in the shade.