Across many breast cancer forums and communities, there is a fear that Taxotere (Reference to: How Can I File A Lawsuit Against The Manufacturer of Taxotere) causes permanent hair loss. Many patients mentioned that they were ‘scared to death’ about losing hair and that they heard mixed reports about hair growing up. Many who responded to those who were worried reported that while hair did get lost, the hair did regrow back. They stated that it grew again, but quite short and fuzzy and that permanent hair loss is quite rare. It was mentioned that it took about twelve weeks for hair to start growing after last Taxotere injection. There were claims that after Taxotere, the hair did grow out thinner and that it did affect hairs on eyelashes, eyebrows and even the more delicate hairs near the temple area on the face.
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, as of June 2011, there were at least ten documented cases of permanent hair loss after the use of Taxotere. Aside from hair loss or alopecia, another term that is used to discuss the abnormal shedding of hair is anagen effluvium. Specifically, anagen effluvium happens when hair is lost in the first stage of hair growth, and the early stage is called anagen.
To understand hair loss with Taxotere, it’s essential to comprehend hair growth first. Hair growth has three cycles. The first, as mentioned already, is anagen. Then there is catagen, and finally, telogen. Anagen hairs are the beginning of the phase for growing. Here, the matrix cells regarding the hair’s follicles experience the intense activity of the mitotic kind. At the end of this stage, a club that is like a keratin bulb forms and mitotic activity goes down significantly. The average length of the initial anagen phase is one thousand days.At any given days, ten to fifteen percent of hairs are either in the catagen phase or the telogen phase. Most hair follicles are experiencing the anagen phase.
According to the aforementioned peer-reviewed article from PubMed, hair loss due to Taxotere is usually something that can be reversed. Certains chemotherapy therapies can cause something that is known as dose-dependent permanent hair loss. Not much is known about this, unfortunately. Patients in the study complained that their hair never grew more than ten centimeters and that it changed the texture of the hair. Biopsies of the scalp areas that were affected showed a lower number of terminal/telogen hairs. The lack of fibrosis and miniaturized hairs are signs that a patient might suffer from permanent hair loss. At this time, there is an imperative need to do more research in regards to hair loss associated with Taxotere. It may not seem important to someone outside of the scope of cancer, but it’s essential to a cancer patient as hair loss is usually associated with depression, anxiety. Hair loss and alopecia are related to low self-esteem and increased amounts of stress. Hair transplants may be expensive, and wigs may be uncomfortable, therefore finding a cause for hair loss after Taxotere is essential.