A clinical study of hair manifestations in cancer patients on chemotherapy

Faizy Azeez, Malcolm Pinto, Manjunath Shenoy, Post Graduate
IP Indian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology   unpublished
There has been an increase in cancer related morbidities; a significant part of it being related to therapies. Chemotherapy targets rapidly growing cells like skin, hair follicles and nail matrix. Hence a significant number of adverse effects are related to the skin and its appendages. Several factors may contribute to the severity of hair loss including the drug, dosage, schedule as well as hair care practices. Aim: To determine the frequency and significance of hair manifestations in patients
more » ... on cancer chemotherapy. Materials and Methods: A total of 50 patients attending the oncology outpatient department or those admitted in the oncology ward Yenepoya Medical College Hospital, Mangalore between June 2017 and August 2017 were studied. All hair diseases, frequency and type of hair loss among patients were documented. Findings were tabulated and correlated with the cancer and the chemotherapy. Results: Hair changes were mainly in the form of diffuse alopecia in 68%, anagen effluvium was seen in 52% patients. Conclusion: Though the adverse effects on hair are not serious, it can cause considerable anxiety to the patient. Hence prior counselling regarding the same needs to be advocated to improve the quality of life of the patient.