We’re used to seeing images of bald-headed cancer survivors in the media, but it seems not everyone is ‘bald enough’ to appear on TV.
Jennifer Campisano, who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer aged 32, responded to an article inviting breast cancer survivors to apply to take part in the TODAY show’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month launch. She was asked to submit a recent photograph of herself; the one she sent (pictured here, right) showed her sporting a short cropped hairstyle.
The reply she received shocked her. It simply said they were “specifically looking for women who can be bold and bald.”
Ms Campisano had been bald on two occasions due to hair loss caused by cancer treatment, although her hair had since begun to regrow.
Does cancer treatment always cause hair loss?
It is wrong to assume that everyone who undergoes chemotherapy will lose their hair, and this is especially true of treatment for breast cancer where hair loss is less prevelant than when other kinds of cancer are treated.
Treatments for metastatic breast cancer, where the primary cancer is located elsewhere in the body, often do not cause hair loss.
Also, if the tumour is hormone-fuelled, then broad spectrum chemotherapy – which can cause hair loss – is only used as a last resort. Targeted treatments, anti-hormonal agents and bone-strengthening treatments are more commonly used, and these treatments do not cause patients’ hair to fall out.
The article that originally inspired Ms. Campisano – a blogger for the Huffington Post – to make contact with the production company was about Joan Lunden, a much-loved former Good Morning America presenter who had been photographed for the cover of People magazine, baring her bald scalp. The article mentioned that Ms Lunden, who is suffering from an aggressive form of breast cancer, would be helping to launch Breast Cancer Awareness Month with an appearance on America’s popular TODAY show.
Turning to her online support group’s message boards, Ms. Campisano made contact with other breast cancer survivors who had received the same, disappointing reply from the TV production company. The consensus was that the producers must have thought rows of bald heads would have more visual impact.
Together with some of the other women, Ms. Campisano wrote back to the production company to explain that treatments for breast cancer do not always result in total baldness. The missive succeeded: several of the women received emails, saying that they would be welcome to attend the event, provided they wore pink.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.
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