Bald man

I’m Not Losing My Hair, I’m Bald

We all realize the seriousness of any type of cancer. When my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he had to go to his first consultation.  One doctor suggested he looked at wigs because he was going to lose his hair. I am a very curious person and wanted to see what this was about. We went into the main office and there sat a table with all type of wigs. I looked at him and he looked at me and I said, “Those are for people who lose hair after radiation or chemotherapy.” My father who is already bald gave me this chuckle and said, “I won’t need one of those because I’m already bald.” I felt even at a time when you’re preparing to get your treatment for radiation, that you could have a sense of humor. We laugh all the way home. So many people have very negative attitudes which I understand, but I also feel that this ultimately affects your treatment. Sometimes we must laugh a little.

Radiation and hair loss

We know radiation can make your hair fall out. Wherever the radiation hits that’s primarily where you lose your hair. Radiation’s goal is to kill cancerous cells. Hair cells tend to grow at a fast pace and are one of the reasons people lose hair when receiving radiation. Some people that do lose hair during radiation never grow it back, but some people’s hair comes back and looks completely different from when they had it before. Now the interesting thing about my father is that he went into radiation with a bald head and afterward he started growing a little hair. I still don’t understand that at all.

I guess everybody’s body is different and things happen for each person differently. One of the doctors had asked my father during his radiation treatment if he would be interested in a toupee. My father responded; no indeed. My father was bald, so I didn’t understand the reason for that question either. I believe he was asked that question because the temperature was very hot and the doctor figured it would keep his head cooler and safe during treatment. I really don’t know, but my father opted out.

I know several people who have had cancer treatments. The great thing is when you are a patient and lose your hair during radiation and chemotherapy, some insurances will pick up the price for a wig or toupee. This is considered a medical aid and is tax deductible under medical expense. A wig or toupee would be considered a cranial prosthesis. A couple years after my father had radiation, he would always cover his head. If it was cold he would cover his head, if it was hot he’d cover his head. This was something he had not done in the past. He is 84, so I’m not sure if this was a mind thing or not. I never bother to ask. If it didn’t bother him, it was not going to bother me.

Protecting my head

But it did start to bother me. This is what prompted me to write this story. I asked him why he kept his head covered all the time. After radiation treatment, things had changed as far as my father was concerned. He felt the heat more and the cold irritated his head more. This was completely different from before he had radiation treatment. As a caregiver I’m feeling pretty down right now. I was feeling I was protecting him, so when he told me he was having headaches when he didn’t cover his head I wanted to scream. Yes, most of the times, I hit the mark. There are other times my well-intention efforts fall short. This was one of those times.

I immediately called the doctor who told me this was one of the side effects of his treatment. I learned a valuable lesson here from my father, pay attention to what’s going on with our bodies.

Also, prostate cancer does not just impact men. It impacts all who love them. It’s our cancer too. Protection is always best.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (4)
  • Doug Sparling moderator
    8 months ago

    When I went through chemo for PCa, I didn’t really experience hair loss (to be fair, I already had a head start) but it did quit growing. And I only had to shave once every two or three weeks, and even then, there wasn’t much to shave. Add one to the “benefits” column for chemo.

    I’ve never known anyone to lose head hair due to prostate radiation. Only hair in the groin area. Generally radiation only causes hair loss on the part of the body being treated or where it exits the body.

    Good on ya for supporting your father! As a father myself, I can definitively say it’s very, very much appreciated. 👍

  • Diane Talbert moderator author
    8 months ago

    Thank you Doug for sharing this information. My father has had 2 types of cancer, and he is 84. I’m sure the combination of these things and getting old cause him some hair lost. I lost my mother at the age of 19, she was 38. My father has been one of the best things in my life. He has taught me so much in life and we are all so grateful that he is still teaching us everyday. Hooray for fathers!!!

  • fredschneeman
    10 months ago

    I was also going bald and kept my hair cut short . During chemo I did loose hair but my Norelco electric razor worked well on my face and hair . Still wear my hair very short and shave both my face and head at the same time .

  • Diane Talbert moderator author
    10 months ago

    I have a few friends who have cancer and they lost there hair too. Most of them shave there face and head at the same time too. I laugh when you said that. We just need to keep moving forward. We are here if you need us.

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