Hair loss can be a challenge in normal circumstances, but when it stems from treatment for cancer it can be an unwanted side-effect of an already upsetting time. Ellie Jeffrey, 29, who lost her hair due to the effects of chemotherapy, will be able to walk down the aisle in June complete with luscious locks of hair after her friend volunteered to donate her own hair to form a bespoke wig.
Such a show of human solidarity can be magical when our lives are changed by serious illnesss, and Ellie’s friend Miffy Grubb is taking extra steps to support her and others like her by raising money for Action Against Cancer, a charity run by Ellie’s oncologist Justin Stebbing. You can show appreciation for Miffy’s gesture and help raise extra funds to help fight cancer by donating to the cause and can follow her progress here.
Ellie was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer and was told last year that she only had a matter of months to live. The diagnosis made her even more determined to marry her fiancé Tom Thostrup in June this year, complete with a full head of hair.
Cancer and hair loss
It is often presumed that hair loss and baldness are caused directly by cancer itself but it is in fact the treatments that are undergone for cancer that are responsible. Some of these treatments prevent hair cells from dividing. One to three weeks after these treatments (such as chemotherapy) hairs become thin and as they exit the scalp, break off. Up to 90% of scalp hair can be lost during such treatments, and when the treatment stops, hair will begin to regrow. It is very common for people undergoing cancer treatments to wear wigs to disguise the hair loss that they are experiencing.
Scientists have regularly looked into ways that could possibly make the baldness experienced when chemotherapy treatments are undergone, hoping that one day hairloss will no longer be an extra burden to endure in an already testing and devastating process. A drug called colchicine has been named as a potential method for solving the side-effect of hair loss in cancer patients, although its efficiency has yet to be widely accepted.
Row Erupts in NBA over Alopec