Is Taxotere Linked to Permanent Hair Loss and Baldness?
For more than 20 years, at Bauman Medical we’ve treated men and women who have suffered from hair loss due to hereditary conditions, illness, injury, trauma as well as medications such as chemotherapy. While all these hair loss conditions are different, what they have in common is when someone loses their hair, we know it can have significant effects on their self-esteem, self-confidence and psychological well-being. We all know that hair is important for self-expression. Our hair is a reflection of how we view ourselves and important for how others perceive us. Hair is a sign of beauty, health and youth that is recognizable from across the room. When hair is lost, whether it be a little or a lot, it can have deep and long lasting psychological effects.
Chemotherapy and Hair Loss
The psychological effects of hair loss often surprise many people and may even prevent cancer patients from seeking the proper lifesaving treatment. Recently, well-known Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie Wood declined chemotherapy for his lung cancer, not because he didn’t think it wouldn’t work, but because he didn’t want to lose his hair!
Thankfully for most cancer patients who receive chemotherapy, their hair returns to its normal state after the drug has been withdrawn. For others, changes in texture, color, curl and coverage are lingering problems that can be dealt with in terms of styling, hair replacement, and-or doctor-directed hair regrowth treatment options, if desired. However, when hair growth does not return after chemotherapy, especially when this happens unexpectedly, permanent baldness becomes more of a significant, long-term disfiguring burden to bear.
Breast Cancer, Taxotere and Hair Loss
It has been reported that more than 1,600 breast cancer survivors treated with Taoxtere or docataxel (Sanofi-Aventis) have experienced alopecia or permanent baldness with little to no hair regrowth after stopping the drug. From our Taxotere hair loss patients we’ve learned that this unexpected hair loss situation is a continuous and unwelcome reminder of the disease they worked so hard to defeat. The impact of this type of unexpected long-term hair loss cannot be underestimated and our hearts are heavy whenever these brave survivors seek our help.
Years into their remission, and even though they’re feeling physically well, these survivors are still treated as “sick” by those unfamiliar with their condition. They avoid family photos for years and must answer questions from their kids about why their mom didn’t get her hair back and others with a similar condition did. It can affect their personal life as well as their professional one–where in today’s job market, your professional image and first impression matter.
Should You Be Grateful Chemo Saved Your Life?
The now well-known story of Ami Dodson, a frustrated breast cancer survivor who is now living with chemo-induced alopecia said, “I should not be permanently disfigured.” She goes on to describe that she gets told all the time, “‘Well, you’re not dead. Shouldn’t you be grateful the chemo saved your life?’ No, I should be alive and also have hair. Disfigurement is not something we should accept as something that’s part for the course.” It should be noted that Dodson has gone on to file a lawsuit against Sanofi-Aventis regarding her permanent hair loss which she believes is related to her chemotherapy.
And Dodson, now in her 40’s, is not alone in her frustration. Her story is similar to countless others who have turned to Dr. Alan Bauman and Bauman Medical for help. When Dodson was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer in 2010 at age 35, doctors used Taxotere (docataxel) to treat her cancer. Later, when her hair did not return or regrow, she was diagnosed with permanent chemo-induced alopecia for which there is currently no known cure.
Taxotere and Chemo-induced Alopecia
At Bauman Medical, we’ve been seeing a significant increase in chemo-induced alopecia cases over the years. These brave survivors are healthy and certainly happy to be in remission. What they are not so happy about is the permanent hair loss that they deal with daily. The traditional wigs and weaves are uncomfortable, itchy and not particularly suited for an active lifestyle–especially here in Florida and across the United States. They also don’t like the idea of having to shave what little hair they have.
CNC: Breakthrough 3D-Printed Hair Replacement Changes Lives
The good news is that new hair replacement technology recently brought to the United States from Bologna, Italy is an excellent solution. The new “CNC” Hair Prosthesis by Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories is created with a combination of 3D-printing and old-world craftsmanship. Once the scalp mould and template is sent to Cesare Ragazzi in Bologna, the 39-step / 240+ man-hour process is begun. The breathable, dermato-compatible “second skin” is matched with proper texture and complexion color. Then, up to 100,000 unprocessed human hair strands are meticulously blended and matched to the patient’s specifications. These hair strands are delicately sewn strand-by-strand into the “second skin” of the prosthetic’s medical-grade polymeric base with an incredible attention to artistry and detail–the angle, orientation and position of each hair is designed to be virtually identical to mother nature’s patterns.
When the CNC Hair Prosthesis for chemo is applied to the woman with severe chemotherapy hair loss and styled, the end result is a hair replacement system like no other in terms of naturalness, beauty and durability and unmatched in the freedom of lifestyle provided. Swim, shampoo, shower, dance, curl and style… all as if it was your own natural head of hair.
Learn more about the Cesare Ragazzi CNC hair and scalp prosthetic hair replacement system from Dr. Bauman—the first physician in North America to offer this life-changing solution for permanent chemo-induced alopecia which is helping cancer survivors once again live their lives with a full head of hair. For more information on the CNC Italian Hair System, start here: www.baumanmedical.com/schedule-consultation