Best wigs for chemo patients: Attention Required! | Cloudflare
Types, Care, Costs, and More
If you’re facing hair loss or thinning hair because your treatment for breast cancer includes chemotherapy, whole brain radiation, or tamoxifen, you may be curious about trying out a wig.
Wigs can conceal hair loss and — depending on the style, length, and color you choose — help you look more like you did before treatment or provide a whole new look. They can also protect your scalp from the sun and from cold air.
Many women find that wearing a wig gives them a sense of normalcy and consistency during cancer treatment. A wig can also provide some privacy in that it may prevent people from asking questions about your appearance and diagnosis. Some like to experiment and have fun with different wig styles and colors, or to alternate wearing a wig and other head coverings, such as hats, turbans, or scarves.
Not sure if a wig is right for you or where to begin looking for one? On this page, you can learn about where to buy a wig or get one for free, how to choose one that suits you, how to care for a wig, and more.
How to prepare for a wig
If you think you might want to get a wig, it’s helpful to take some steps to prepare before you start chemotherapy or another treatment that may cause hair loss. For example:
- Find or take a couple of pictures of your preferred hairstyle. This will make it easier to find a wig that’s closest to your color, length, and style if you decide that’s what you want.
- Cut your hair short. It’s less traumatic to lose short clumps of hair than long ones, and it’s easier to fit a wig over less hair. Also, if you get used to short hair, you won’t have to wait as long while your hair is growing back to feel like yourself.
Consider picking out a wig before you start a treatment that can cause hair loss. You’ll have more energy, and you can get used to wearing the wig in trial sessions, alternating with your own hair.
Where to get a wig
How do you find a wig? There are a number of options:
At a wig shop. You can get recommendations for local wig shops or specialists through breast cancer organizations, your hospital’s cancer center, or through your hairdresser. Some wig specialists come to your home to provide additional privacy.
Online. Like most things nowadays, you can shop for a wig online. Online retailers have a large selection of wigs in every color, length, and style. Some offer consultations over the phone or via email to help you find the right style for you. This can also be a good option if you’d prefer more privacy when selecting your wig.
Through a charity program. Instead of shopping for a wig (and possibly getting reimbursed for some or all of the cost through your health insurance company), you may want to look into getting a wig for free through programs of the American Cancer Society or other nonprofit organizations (see “Covering the cost of a wig” below for more info).
Wherever you decide to shop for a wig, be sure to find out about return and exchange policies in advance. You may want to try on several wigs at home and return some of them, or you may decide after trying some on that you don’t want to opt for a wig at all. So, it’s useful to know if there will be restocking fees or other limitations on returns.
Covering the cost of a wig
Many health insurance companies cover part or all of the cost of the wig if your doctor writes a prescription. A wig is, after all, a remedy for a treatment side effect, just as important as medication you take to treat nausea. Here are the steps to take if you want to try to get your insurance to pay for your wig:
- Before purchasing a wig, call your health insurance company and ask if they will cover a “cranial prosthesis” for hair loss related to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If so, ask what is the maximum cost they will cover, what paperwork you will need to submit your claim (including details on what the prescription from your doctor needs to say), and how long it will take to get reimbursed.
- In most cases, you will have to pay for your wig upfront and then get reimbursed after you submit a claim to your insurance company. Typically, you’ll need to send your insurance company a prescription from your doctor for a “cranial prosthesis” or a “hair prosthesis” (with a cancer diagnosis code), the receipt for the wig (with the wig company’s tax ID number), and a completed insurance claim form. Some wig providers and hospital centers will handle the insurance claim for you and won’t require you to pay upfront.
- Keep a copy of your receipt if you end up paying for all or part of your wig out of pocket. It might be a medical expense that you can take as a tax deduction.
If you don’t have coverage or would prefer not to go through the process of filing an insurance claim, keep in mind that the American Cancer Society and a number of other organizations offer free or reduced cost wigs to people undergoing cancer treatment. You can find out about options for getting a free wig by searching online, contacting your local chapter of the American Cancer Society, or contacting the social workers at your local cancer center.
Choosing a wig
Here’s how to select a wig that fits well, is high quality, and suits you:
- First, measure your head with a cloth measuring tape to determine your “cap size.” This video shows how:
- Decide if you’d like a wig that’s similar in color and style to your own hair, or if you want a different look. You may want to get two wigs: one that’s more like your current hair and one that’s a fun new length, color, and/or style.
- Consider choosing a color that is somewhat lighter than your own hair. Your skin color may be off during chemotherapy — grayish, greenish, or yellowish. Less contrast is generally more flattering, and won’t call attention to your complexion.
- Determine if you want a wig that’s made out of a synthetic fiber, human hair, or a mixture of both. Most women choose synthetic wigs. They look and feel good, need very little attention and care, and are moderately priced ($30 to $500). A wig made of real human hair could cost between $800 and $3,000, or more, and it requires more care than you give your own hair. Watch this video to learn more about the differences between human hair wigs and synthetic hair wigs:
- Go for the best-quality, most natural-looking wig you can afford. Key features that make a wig look realistic are a lace front and a monofilament part or top. In a lace front wig, each hair in the front of the wig is individually tied to a sheer material, creating the appearance of a natural hairline. Monofilament tops or parts make the top of the wig look realistic and are made by tying or sewing the hair in sections into the top portion of the cap, which is made from a fine, sheer material.
Putting on your wig
Follow these steps to put on your wig and get a good fit:
- If you have natural hair of any length, you’ll need to keep it as smooth and flat as possible by pinning it down and by wearing a nylon or mesh wig cap under your wig. Even if you don’t have hair, you should in most cases wear a wig cap because it will keep the wig secure, absorb sweat, and protect your scalp from irritation. Some women choose to wear a wig band instead of or in addition to a wig cap. A wig band is similar to a head band and it doesn’t adhere to the wig but helps to keep it in place.
- Adjust the velcro tabs located in the back of the wig to get the best fit.
- Tilt your head forward. Using both hands, put the front of the wig at your hairline and then pull the wig on using a front to back motion. Use the ear tabs (near your temples) to help center the wig.
For step by step instructions on how to put on your wig, watch this video:
Caring for your wig
With proper care and storage, a synthetic wig should last for 3 to 5 months and a human hair wig should last 9 months to a year of daily wear. Here’s how to keep your wig looking good for as long as possible:
- Wash and condition your wig after every 8 to 10 wears. This video demonstrates how to wash and dry a synthetic wig and a human hair wig:
- Give your wig “time off” on occasion by using a turban, scarf, or hat.
- If you have a standard synthetic wig, keep it away from intense heat — for example, from an oven, grill, outdoor heater, or an open flame — because it could melt. In most cases, you shouldn’t use heated styling tools or a hair dryer on a synthetic wig unless it is labeled “heat friendly” or “heat defiant.”
- If you’d like help with styling, shaping, or cleaning your wig, you can take it to a specialty hairdresser.
- When you’re not wearing your wig, store it on a wig stand in a part of your home that that gets as little sunlight, heat, moisture, and dust as possible. You can make your own wig stand with two 64-ounce plastic soda bottles. Cut them in half, discard the tops, face the cut edges of the bottoms together, and force one inside another to get a football-shaped stand.
Learn more about wigs
You can learn more about wearing and styling wigs in the following articles:
This page was developed with contributions from the following experts:
Carliz Sotelo Teague, founder of Wigs.com
Melissa Hutchison, American Cancer Society patient navigator at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA
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Last modified on April 6, 2021 at 9:13 AM
How to choose a wig – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Many cancer patients face hair loss as the result of their treatment, and many decide to wear a wig until their hair starts to grow back.
Choosing the right wig can be a difficult decision. If you choose to wear a wig, the best one for you will:
- Appear natural-looking.
- Feel comfortable and fits well.
- Fit your budget.
Learn more about hair loss and choosing a wig from Dana-Farber’s Friends’ Place.
It is important to go to a store that offers privacy and individual attention, such as a shop specializing in wigs with a sales staff that has experience dealing with women with cancer or hair loss. When you shop for a wig, be sure to ask three questions:
What kind of hair is the wig made of?
Wigs are made out of either a synthetic fiber, human hair, or a combination of these two.
Synthetic fiber wigs are the most popular type of hair prosthesis for women experiencing temporary hair loss because they are lightweight, easy to adjust for fit, moderately priced, and comfortable.
Human hair (full custom hairpieces) are costly and difficult to maintain. Hair stylists recommend synthetic wigs.
How is the wig made?
Wigs are constructed in two major ways: machine-made and hand-tied (pre-custom and full-custom). Machine-made wigs are often thought of as being made for people with hair, but this is not always the case. In fact, many women find these wigs to be comfortable as well as economical. These ready-made wigs are chosen by hairstyle, hair color, and head size (ranging from petite to large). Since heads don’t come in uniform sizes, machine-made wigs can be easily altered for a near-custom fit.
How do you attach the wig to the scalp?
A well-fitted wig doesn’t usually require aids for attachment, but some people like to have the feeling of additional security. The foundation, the material to which the hair is attached, should feel like a second scalp, and not be uncomfortably hot or heavy. In general, all wigs are warm, but some have special ventilation features.
When hair falls out, the scalp may feel tender or sensitive. Some wigs can be irritating to the scalp. It is often helpful to place a small cotton scarf or cotton skullcap between the scalp and the wig. Not only does the scarf or cap provide a protective barrier, but it also absorbs some of the perspiration that develops on the scalp.
The staff at the wig store can help you if you have trouble securing the wig in place.
Generally, a wig should be washed after 14-18 wearings. If you’re especially active, you should wash your wig at least once a week to remove the perspiration and dirt.
When it is time to wash your wig, brush it to remove all teasing, tangles, and hair spray. We recommend that you use a gentle cleansing, wig, scalp and hair shampoo, and conditioner as it leaves your wig soft, pretty, and easy to manage.
Gently swirl your wig in a mixture of cold water and a small amount of shampoo. Let it soak for a few minutes, then rinse it in cold water. You can wrap the wig in a towel to remove excess water, but DO NOT wring it out or brush it while it is wet. Drape your wig over a slender bottle or a wig stand, and let it dry overnight. When your wig is completely dry, give it a quick shake and brush it back into style.
If you have a hair stylist, you may talk with them about the care of your wig. Your hair stylist may have experience working with wigs and can also give you tips about the care of your wig.
Wig care dos
- Use water-soluble hair spray. Lacquer sprays will coat the wig and create a white-colored build-up.
- Use a plastic, wire, or natural bristle brush. Light, short strokes give the best styling results. Heavy brushing tends to “pack” the fiber instead of creating the “airy” look that fiber is meant to have.
Wig care don’ts
- Do not use standard hairbrushes because they can create excessive tension, over stretching the hair and damaging it.
- Do not brush wig while your wig is wet.
- Do not use heat to style – no curling irons or hairdryers.
- Do not try to dye or tint your wig.
- Do not wear your wig while cooking or near open oven or gas stove, as your wig could catch on fire. Extreme heat will cause the wig to frizz. You might consider wearing a turban while cooking to avoid singeing your wig.
Best Human Hair Wigs for Cancer Patients
suffering from cancer and undergoing therapy, a wig is a practical way to cope
with the upsetting reality of hair loss, a side effect of chemotherapy. Human
hair wigs for cancer
allow them to feel more like themselves, giving them more control over how they look.
The initial hair loss stage may feel devastating, however a real human hair wig
offers versatility, naturalness and the hope you need during a difficult
What Are the Best Wigs for Cancer Patients?
undergoing chemotherapy your scalp can become quite dry and sensitive; natural
human hair wigs offer ultimate flexibility, sitting comfortably on sensitive
scalps. Human hair wigs are often the best wig option for cancer patients as
they can be customised and styled to suit individual preferences. They also
guarantee a stunning natural look which makes it hard to tell the difference.
our guide on choosing the best
wig for cancer patients to help you get a clearer idea on wig type you want to
Choosing the Right Human Hair Wig Construction for You
the right human hair wig for you comes down to style and colour preferences but
also for full maximum comfort you’ll want to choose the right wig cap construction
that best suits your head shape. Wig cap options include hand tied wigs, lace
front wigs, wefted wigs and monofilament wigs.
wig cap is the base material of a
wig and mimics the shape of the head some of which will suit your needs better
than others. For example lace front wigs are perfect for cancer patients
wanting to achieve the most natural look possible as they perfectly mimic
natural hair growth at the front hairline. Equally, monofilament wigs are great
as they offer the most naturalness, comfort and versatility all at once. Wefted
wigs are the most basic wig cap construction however another popular option for
cancer patients as they allow for the wig to be lightweight, breathable as well
as affordable. On the other hand, hand-tied wigs have no seams or wefts making
them comfortable and lightweight, sitting incredibly softly against a sensitive
Tips for Wearing Your Real Human Hair Wig
wearing your human hair wig there’re a couple things to note to maximise
comfort, style and wig durability.
most likely be wearing your human hair wigs for long periods at a time so always
ensure they feel totally comfortable on your scalp. Human hair wigs are made of
high-quality materials that can be adjusted to suit any head shape so always
ensure you find the right size, fit, and shape that feels right on you.
you’re struggling on what wig cap size you need, read our short blog on how to measure your
head for a wig
and watch the demo video to guarantee you’re buying the right fit.
such an extensive range of wig options, from top of the range wigs from designers
to stunning colours and cuts, styling decisions can feel a little overwhelming.
Go for a look that makes you feel most like yourself. Whether you want to match
your biological hair style or opt for a colour that’s a bit different, the
choice is yours. Choose the human hair wig that makes you feel best!
Human Hair Wig Maintenance
hair wigs are particularly delicate and can easily become damaged; the care
that goes into your Human hair wig matters for maximum durability and wig
health. Human hair wig care
include shampoo, conditioner along with brushes and wig stands offering optimal
care for your wigs.
Find out how to care for your human hair wig
and the best practices to help maintain its flair, bounce and style in our ‘5 Top Tips: How to Care for Your
Human Hair Wig’
Joseph’s Wigs Are Here to Help
If you’re looking for a wig for cancer, explore Joseph’s Wigs range of human hair wigs. We can help you find the perfect fitting, style and wig cap construction for you, just call us on 020 8648 5541 and we’ll be happy to help. We’re a small team, passionate about helping people like you find the perfect wig.
also offer a discreet, compassionate wig fitting service where you can meet
with Claire who’ll be able to advise you on all the different wigs and
hairpieces available in our extensive range. Book an appointment by emailing [email protected] and we’ll arrange a
time that suits you.
Wigs, scarves and headwear | Breast Cancer Care
1. What to wear after hair loss
2. Can I get an NHS wig if I have breast cancer?
3. Where can I be fitted for a wig?
4. Choosing a synthetic or real hair wig
5. How to wear a wig
6. How to tie a headscarf or bandana
7. Hats, turbans and fringes
8. How to camouflage hair loss and hair replacement systems
What to wear after hair loss
Many people choose to wear wigs, headscarves, hats or other headwear until their hair grows back. There are many different reasons for this, from keeping warm, for cultural or religious reasons, to concern about what other people might say.
Many people choose to wear a wig because it’s important to them to have as little change to their appearance as possible. Modern wigs are natural looking and comfortable, and are available in many different colours and styles for both men and women.
Some people choose not to wear a wig and prefer to wear headscarves or hats. Often men with breast cancer decide not to wear a wig despite experiencing hair loss from treatment. You may want to wear a wig on special occasions or when going out, but feel more comfortable wearing a cap around the house. Or you might prefer not to wear anything.
Different people prefer to wear different things so choose what you feel comfortable with at the time. It might help to talk to others who have experienced hair loss.
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2. Can I get an NHS wig if I have breast cancer?
Entitlement to a wig varies across the NHS. You may be entitled to a free synthetic wig on the NHS if:
- you are an inpatient when the wig is supplied
- you or your partner are receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit or Universal Credit, and meet the criteria
- you are entitled to or named on an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
- you are named on an HC2 certificate
Some hospitals may provide you with a free wig whether or not you meet any of the conditions above. To find out if you’re entitled to a free wig, talk to your chemotherapy or breast care nurse.
You may be entitled to a new wig on the NHS every six months if necessary. Your chemotherapy or breast care nurse should be able to advise you on how to go about getting your replacement wig.
If you aren’t entitled to a free wig you can still get one through the NHS at a subsidised rate if you have a low income. To apply for this you’ll need an HC1 form, which you may be able to get from your hospital or from the NHS Business Services Authority.
If you’re having treatment as a private patient the cost of a wig may be covered in your policy. Otherwise you’ll need to pay for one.
Only wigs made of synthetic hair are available on the NHS, although real hair wigs can be supplied if you are allergic to acrylic wigs. If you prefer to buy a wig made of real hair, you’ll need to pay for it. Real hair wigs are usually more expensive. Find out more about choosing a synthetic or real hair wig.
You don’t have to pay VAT (Value Added Tax) on a wig when hair loss is caused by cancer treatments. You will need to complete a VAT exemption form – which most stores will provide at the time of purchase – and send it off. The tax can’t be claimed back at a later date.
You may be able to get financial help towards the cost of a wig from Macmillan Cancer Support but your doctor, nurse or social worker will need to apply on your behalf.
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3. Where can I be fitted for a wig?
Some hospitals have specialists who may be able to fit you with a wig or advise you about other wig suppliers. If not, your chemotherapy or breast care nurse will be able to advise you on where to get your wig.
Your hospital may have a limited range, so if you’re paying for your wig yourself you may prefer to go to a hairdresser, department store or wig retailer. This is usually more expensive. See our list of wig suppliers.
If it’s important to you to match your wig to your hair colour and style, you may want to choose one before your hair falls out. Or you may decide to have a complete change.
What to expect at your wig fitting appointment
Choosing and being fitted with a wig can be a time when you have to face the reality of losing your hair, and it can be upsetting. Experienced wig specialists understand this and will do their best to make you feel at ease.
Most wig fitters have a private room where you can be fitted and try on wigs, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask for one.
Take a relative or friend with you for support and to help you choose.
If you haven’t yet lost your hair the wig should be quite tight when fitted so that it gives a good fit later on. This can be adjusted later if needed.
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4. Choosing a synthetic or real hair wig
Wigs can be made from real or synthetic hair or a mixture of both.
Synthetic wigs are light and easy to care for. They’re often pre-styled and can be washed and left to drip dry. They’re also cheaper than real hair wigs.
The cost of a real hair wig will depend on the length and style you choose. As a rough guide, synthetic wigs cost around £60 upwards, while real hair wigs cost can cost from £100 but are often substantially more. They also need to be handled more carefully. They may need professional cleaning and restyling. If you’re not feeling well during treatment, you may find this more difficult.
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5. How to wear your wig
As long as your wig fits snugly, it shouldn’t move around your head. However, if you’re worried about your wig slipping or falling off, try securing it with hypoallergenic double-sided tape, which is available from wig suppliers. One side of the tape sticks to the inside of the wig while the other side sticks to your scalp. A wig specialist can also talk to you about other ways of securing your wig.
Wigs can sometimes feel hot and itchy. You can try wearing a thin cotton lining or skullcap under your wig. You can buy these from wig suppliers or make your own by cutting up a stocking or pair of tights.
If you have an ‘off-the-shelf’ wig and wear it every day it will last about three to four months. After that the elastic gets looser and this affects the fit, although it may be possible to replace the elastic.
Avoid excessive heat or steam (such as from an oven or iron) if you have a synthetic wig as it can make the hair shrivel. Don’t get too close to flames from cookers or candles, which can melt synthetic hair and frizz real hair.
Getting your wig professionally styled
Wigs can be cut and styled to make them look more natural and feel more personal. The hair in some wigs is packed very densely, which can give them a slightly unnatural look. This can be thinned out by trained hair professionals to make the wig look like your own hair. It’s a good idea to check that your hairdresser or wig consultant has experience of cutting wigs. You can find a directory of wig cutting salons in your area at mynewhair.org
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6. How to tie a headscarf or bandana
Scarves and bandanas (a triangular or square piece of cloth) can be worn in many different ways to create a variety of looks. Choose different colours, patterns and textures to suit your mood and coordinate your headwear with your outfit.
The most comfortable scarves are made from a natural fabric that’s gentle on the scalp and allows it to breathe. Soft cotton is probably best, as satin and silk materials can slide off the head more easily.
How to make a basic headwrap
For a basic headwrap you will need a scarf at least 75cm x 75cm. For more elaborate styles it needs to be 100cm x 100cm.
To give more height and a better head shape you can:
- scrunch or pleat the long edge of the scarf
- roll the edge of the scarf around a 25cm long foam tube (like a finger bandage) before putting it on your head
- place a foam shoulder pad on the crown of your head under the scarf. You can attach it with double-sided tape available from wig shops
You may find it helps to twist one end at a time and secure it with a hairgrip, paperclip or elastic band while you twist the other one.
You can vary this by twisting in coloured cord, beads or a contrasting scarf to match what you’re wearing.
How to make a French hair roll
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7. Hats, turbans and fringes
Hats, scarves and turbans can be found in a wide variety of styles and colours and can help you feel more confident about the way you look. They can also keep you warm in winter and protect your head from the sun in summer.
When looking for a hat, you may want to choose a style that can be pulled down to cover your hairline. As well as specialist hat shops and department stores, wig and headwear suppliers also stock suitable hats. You can also buy hats and caps with detachable hair pieces.
Cotton or jersey turbans are light, comfortable and easy to wash. They can be bought in some department stores, chemists, hospital shops and from wig and headwear suppliers.
If you normally have a fringe, you may feel that you still don’t look right no matter what headwear you choose. Worn under a scarf or hat, you may find that a fringe hairpiece on a Velcro band works for you. Fringes can be trimmed and shaped to suit and are available from wig suppliers.
You can also buy hairpieces that you can fix under the back of a hat. They give the appearance of hair and, like the fringes, can be styled to suit you.
See our list of wig and headwear suppliers.
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8. Camouflaging hair loss and hair replacement systems
A concealer is a temporary cosmetic that can be used to disguise thinning hair and camouflage the scalp. They can be bought over the counter as coloured shampoos, mousses, creams, wax pencils, hair fibres or aerosols and should be applied as directed.
Changing the emphasis
Some people feel more confident if attention is directed away from their hair and their head. There are a number of ways of doing this that might help.
- jewellery such as earrings, necklaces, rings and brooches can attract attention
- you could experiment with make-up, using different colours to emphasise your eyes or lips
- finding an item of clothing that gives you confidence – a jacket, shoes or a bag – can also attract attention
Hair replacement systems
Cosmetic hair restoration is a solution for hair loss in which human hair can be fixed to the scalp. This is usually only an option for people who have permanent hair loss.
The most common type of hair replacement system works by attaching a fine mesh to any remaining hair, allowing hair to be added where needed to give the illusion of a full head of hair.
Making it look like hair is growing from the scalp, the replacement can usually be cut to recreate the hairstyle you had before your hair loss. However, these types of hair replacement can be time consuming and expensive.
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Wigs for Cancer Patients | Cancer and Careers
For many cancer patients, hair loss is the most distressing and feared side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. If you don’t want anybody to know you’re losing your hair, a wig may be the answer.
Before You Buy
Ask your doctor
Not all treatments cause hair loss, so discuss with your doctor what the likelihood is that you’ll lose yours. If there is a high probability you’ll lose some of your hair, get a prescription for a “hair prosthesis” (most insurance plans cover wigs that are needed for medical reasons). Also, ask about steps you can take to help retain your hair.
Call your hairstylist
When you book your appointment, let the receptionist know you’ll need some extra time, and consider asking whether there is someplace where you can talk privately with the stylist. If not, you might want to schedule an appointment for when the salon is likely to be less crowded. As the person who knows you, your hair and, most likely, other clients with cancer, a hairdresser can be a great resource. He or she may be able to suggest a local wig shop or even order a wig for you. Once you’ve purchased the wig, your stylist can trim and style it to suit your face.
Take a short cut
Even if you have always worn your hair long, getting a short haircut is one of the biggest breaks you can give yourself during treatment. Long hair, pulled down by gravity, is more likely to fall out sooner. Short hair is better at masking initial hair loss and makes less of a mess when it does fall out. Just remember to keep a good-sized lock of hair to use as a guide for wig shopping.
Give yourself options
Since wigs can be uncomfortable and troublesome, you probably won’t want to wear one every day, all day. A hairpiece peeking out from under a hat or scarf can give the illusion of hair, without the annoyance and bulk of a wig. Most wig stores and specialty retailers for cancer patients stock a wide variety of bangs, side pieces, ponytails, curls and falls. Many of these are designed to be attached to a hat (e.g., using Velcro).
Where to Buy a Wig
In addition to asking your stylist, ask your oncologist for recommendations for wig retailers and wig salons.
Wherever you go, it should be a place where you feel comfortable and like the staff. Call beforehand to make sure the retailer or wig salon specializes in helping cancer patients, offers refitting, can provide a private area for try-ons and has a variety of choices, including hairpieces. Also, find out whether you can try on the wigs and return them (many states’ health regulations prohibit this).
You can purchase a wig online, but there is no way to tell what you are actually buying until it arrives at your door. If you do buy a wig via a website, be sure you can return it for any reason.
If you can’t afford a wig, you can try calling the American Cancer Society (800-227-2345; some local offices are able to offer wigs that have been donated) or CancerCare (800-813-HOPE; some branches have free wig clinics).
Choosing a Wig
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a wig — e.g., human hair or synthetic; short or long; custom- or machine-made; and price.
Synthetic hair vs. human hair
Most people prefer synthetic hair; it’s less expensive and easier to maintain. Most synthetic wigs have their style molded into them, but some can be reset. The advantage to style-able wigs is that you can change their look, just as you can with real hair. The disadvantage is that they have to be reset every time they’re washed. Synthetic hair also dries faster than real hair. While synthetic wigs that are well made may look real, they never feel the same as real hair or move the way real hair does. Nor can you treat them like you would your own hair — they can fry when exposed to heat. So no curling irons or blow-dryers (unless they are specifically designed for use on wigs). Hot rollers can be used, but only at low settings. And avoid exposing the wig to any intense heat sources, such as an oven. The blast of heat will cause frizzing.
Wigs made of human hair will obviously look and feel more like your natural hair, but they are expensive and are far more time-consuming. You can use heated appliances on them for touch-ups, but you’ll probably want to take them to a professional to be washed and styled.
The way a wig is made affects how it looks just as much as, if not more than, the type of hair that’s used. A quality synthetic wig is preferable to a poorly made wig of human hair.
There are three different types of wig construction: custom, handmade and machine-made.
- Machine-made wigs tend to be the least expensive and the most widely available. If you’ve ever worn a wig, this is probably the type you are familiar with. Wefts of hair are sewn together in a straight line, cut and assembled into a wig. (When you look inside a machine-made wig you can see the lines.) Many look extremely realistic as long as they are not parted, pulled back or otherwise altered. Some people find these wigs more comfortable because the construction creates vents that allow air to circulate to the scalp.
- Handmade wigs look the most natural of the prefabricated choices, because individual strands are knotted onto a skullcap rather than wefts of hair being sewn together. These wigs can be parted and styled with accessories, since there is no chance the vents will be exposed. The hair also falls and moves more naturally.
- Custom-made wigs are almost indistinguishable from natural hair; however, they are extremely expensive and generally take a couple of months to complete. If you opt for a custom wig, be sure that you have final approval on the choice of both the hair and the style. And unless you have prior knowledge of the shop, you might want to call your local chapter of the American Cancer Society to double-check that you are working with a reputable establishment.
Some patients use this experience as an opportunity to experiment with a number of different looks, while others want a wig that looks just like their own hair. Either way, a few adjustments can help make your wig look as natural as possible.
- Keep in mind that a wig cannot replicate the way your hair blends into your skin. Sure, it does in the movies, but that requires a great deal of time and makeup — not to mention a team of trained professionals. For your purposes, bangs, or at least a few wisps of hair covering the hairline, will help your wig look more natural.
- Even if you opt for the same cut you currently have, you might want to try a slightly shorter wig. During treatment, many people lose weight and become slightly drawn. A shorter style can add fullness. Plus, short wigs have less hair to brush out at night and don’t tangle as easily as longer wigs.
- Wigs that utilize wide headbands along the hairline are easy to wear, but that means you’re locked into wearing a headband. Such models are better for occasional use or as a backup.
- Buying two wigs in different styles can make life easier than purchasing one very expensive wig. For example, you won’t have to restyle your wig every time you want to put your hair up.
Whether you’re matching your own hair color or thinking about trying something different, consider going a shade lighter. It will help offset changes in skin tone that may occur during treatment.
Make sure you get the color you want. Examine the wig outside, in natural light. Look at the quality of the color as much as the depth of the color. There is more to selecting a brown wig than choosing light, medium or dark; be sure to check out the highlights, lowlights and underlying tones as well.
In addition to the wig, you’ll need some supplies: a head form on which to store the wig, a wire wig brush, T-pins (to hold the wig in place while brushing), hairnets, wig hair spray (or low-alcohol hair spray), wig shampoo (or baby shampoo), conditioner and, depending on the length, hairpins and rollers. All should be available at the wig shop, a beauty-supply retailer, through your hairdresser or online.
Wear and Care
The wig shop or your hairdresser can demonstrate how to put your wig on properly, by grasping it in the front and rolling it back over your head. It should fit securely but not be uncomfortably tight. Line up the points on the side of the wig in front of your ears, where a man’s sideburns typically start. Your ears should be pulled out over the wig, not tucked under.
As hair loss progresses, it may become difficult to tell where your natural hairline is, in which case you might end up wearing the wig too low or too high on your forehead. Keep a photo that shows your natural hairline to use as a guide.
Under any type of wig, you’ll need to wear a cap. These are soft, snug nylon or cotton coverings that protect your scalp, control your hair and keep the wig from slipping. Buy more caps than you think you’ll need; it’s good to have extras and rotate them regularly.
Your wig may need to be refitted after you lose your hair, particularly if you had long or thick hair when you purchased it. Most wigs have adjustable straps at the back to change the size; if the wig still feels loose, take it back to the store for adjustment.
All wigs require a certain amount of daily care, but probably less than the time you’d spend on your own hair. For more information, Look Good Feel Better offers virtual workshops on wearing and maintaining wigs.
- When you take off your wig, store it on a Styrofoam, wood or cloth-covered head form.
- Smooth out the hair with a comb.
- To set curls on short styles, simply pin curls in place; on longer styles, roll or twist the hair and secure with pins.
- If desired, lightly spray with wig hair spray (or low-alcohol hair spray) and let dry.
- Cover with a hairnet.
- Store away from heat, dust and humidity.
Washing and setting
If worn regularly, you’ll want to wash and set your wig every week or two. Synthetic wigs can be washed and styled at home or taken to your hairstylist or wig shop. Wigs made from human hair are more difficult to handle, so it’s best left to professionals.
- Brush wig with a wire wig brush, starting at the ends and working up to the scalp.
- Submerge wig in a bowl or sink of cool water and wig shampoo (or baby shampoo). Gently swish.
- Soak for five minutes.
- Rinse in cool water.
- If desired, condition hair with a product for wigs or a conditioner with lanolin.
- Rinse again in cool water.
- Gently squeeze out water; do not twist.
- Blot dry with a towel.
- Place wig on a tall, slender object, such as a can of hair spray, so air can circulate through the wig.
- Allow to air-dry completely. Never brush a wet wig. (Blow-dry only if the manufacturer recommends it.)
- Gently brush with wig brush, from ends to scalp.
As mentioned above, most synthetic wigs have the style molded into the hair, in which case you simply need to control and emphasize the style with hot rollers set on medium or low heat. And again, never use a curling iron or hair dryer on a synthetic wig.
First Time Chemo Patient
Tips for Newly Diagnosed Chemo Patients
Will insurance cover the cost of cancer patient wigs?
Many people could benefit with extra financial assistance when they purchase a wig for medical reasons. If you have health insurance, your provider may reimburse you for a portion or the total cost of your “Cranial Prosthesis” (the term when a wig is needed for medical hair loss. ) Follow the 5 steps below for possible “cranial prosthesis” reimbursement.
5 Steps to Possible Wig Reimbursement from Your Insurance Company
Consult your insurance company’s benefits department to find out about reimbursements for a “cranial prosthesis.” (Do not use the word “wig” as your benefits allowance will drop.)
Obtain a prescription from your doctor for a “cranial prosthesis.” Be sure your diagnosis code is written on this Rx. Make a copy for your records.
When purchasing your wig(s), ask us for a separate Medical Sales Receipt (which includes our Tax ID #) confirming the purchase of your “cranial prosthesis.” When ordering online, in the comments section, write “Please include Medical Sales Receipt.” Make a copy for your records.
Send #2 and #3 (above) to your insurance company, following any guidelines they may have.
If entitled, your insurance company may reimburse you directly for the full amount, a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your purchased wig(s).
Note: Typically, HMOs do not reimburse for a cranial prosthesis. However, you can take a tax deduction on your annual tax return.
*If your insurance company denies your claim, we suggest that you send them a picture of yourself without hair and hand write a letter stating your need for a cranial prosthesis. Detail your emotional upset without hair and the benefits your cranial prosthesis provides, such as self confidence, which promotes your internal healing.
Beginning Your Chemotherapy Journey
If you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer and will begin your chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment soon, typically hair loss will begin 10 days to 2 weeks after your first treatment.
The best thing to do is begin choosing what you’ll need for hair loss before your first treatment. Spend some time watching our Godiva’s Secret Wigs videos on Youtube.com and review the wigs on this site – take notes on the styles and colors you’d like so you’ll be ready to order when the time comes. Give your order about 7-10 days to arrive.
Once you see how natural your new wig looks on you and how easy it is to wear, you can stop worrying about your hair and use your energy on healing and moving forward. Remember, we’re “hair” to help YOU!
We suggest you consider these items as part of your “wig wardrobe.” These items will provide you with choices during your time without hair. Remember, hair loss is normally temporary, so make use of and enjoy the wigs, hats and turbans during this time. A great wig will ease you through cancer and hair loss with confidence and grace…
Click on each item below to learn more about it.
Over the years, we have worked personally with thousands of hair loss clients at our store in California. On our website, we are offering you what we believe to be the best and most necessary items for your self-confidence and success during this time. If you have more questions, please phone us!
We have live wig experts ready to take your calls Monday-Friday 9am-5pm PST!
Toll Free in U. S. and Canada: (877) 567-9447
Local or Int’l: (818) 591-0808
Radiation & Chemotherapy Information
Radiation therapy can cause hair loss (the medical word for this is alopecia). But the hair is only lost in the area being treated. For instance, if you get treatment to your hip, you will not lose the hair on your head. But radiation to your head may cause you to lose some or all of the hair on your head, even eyebrows and lashes. Generally, you will start to see the effects of the radiation within two weeks of your first treatment and can expect the loss to get progressively quicker over time.
Not all chemo drugs will make you lose your hair. Some people have mild thinning that only they notice. Your doctor will be able to tell you if your chemo is likely to make you lose your hair. You can lose hair on all parts of your body, not just your scalp. Eyelashes and eyebrows, arm and leg hair, underarm hair, and pubic hair all may be affected. It usually doesn’t happen right away. More often, hair loss begins after a few treatments. At that point, your hair may fall out slowly or in clumps. Any hair that remains may become dull and dry.
Once you start losing your hair, we suggest that you cut it very short or even shave it off completely. Mentally, this allows you to take control of the situation and makes the hair loss process much easier. Since you should already have your wig by this time, you will have something to put on as soon as you trim your hair off. You should continue to care for your scalp with a mild shampoo and conditioner to help circulation and prevent the skin from drying. If your scalp is sensitive, you can apply a facial moisturizer to ease the irritation, however, regular body lotion is too oily for use on the scalp.
Most patients find that their hair grows back after the treatments are finished, although it may be thicker, thinner, a different texture or even a different color than it was before. Most doctors recommend that patients don’t use hair dyes until their hair returns to normal; this may be as long as 6 months after treatment. Many women choose to continue wearing their wigs while their hair is coming back in and even once their hair has grown back because of the simplicity and freedom it allowed them!
Chemotherapy Wigs & Wigs for Hair Loss
How to prepare for cancer hair loss
Hair Loss is one of the many effects that intensive chemotherapy has on the human body, and there is nothing about this that should make a cancer patient feel less beautiful. Hair loss from chemotherapy is a natural part of the cancer treatment process, which will ultimately make you feel better and get you back on track. In some cases the hair loss is not that serious or evident, and it can only be seen by the individual, but the effects of chemotherapy vary person to person. It can be a difficult experience for some, and it can takes a bit of time to ease into daily routine without hair, which is why the use of a cancer wig is extremely beneficial.
Choosing a beautiful wig for hair loss is an important step for many cancer patients. In order to adequately prepare yourself for cancer wigs, try cutting your hair before you begin your intensive chemotherapy. This will help you prepare for the stages of hair loss and it will be a much easier experience. Consult with hairdressers and our wig experts to see if they have any advice for a wig style that will perfectly suit you. Essentially, it helps to adequately prepare yourself before you embark on this journey after chemotherapy, and we are here to help you feel beautiful while you do it. Wearing cancer patient wigs shouldn’t make you feel self conscious, instead it should empower you and make you feel more beautiful and confident.
How do I know which wig is best for me?
Choosing a wig isn’t just like choosing another fashion accessory, if anything it is a much more important process, especially when you are choosing wigs for cancer patients. The type of wig you wear speaks volumes, and we want to make sure that it is sending the right message. The process of choosing the right cancer patient wig is an extremely intricate one. It is best to find a wig that closely resembles your natural hair color so that the transformation is not too jarring, and this will help you settle into being comfortable with your new hair.
If you choose to wear one, a wig can be a natural part of the healing process for Cancer patients. Just make sure that whatever decision you make is the best one for you, and that you are not paying attention to people’s opinions about how you look. Whatever your decision is, just know that you will always be beautiful.
How do I select the right size cancer wig?
Most of the average wigs for cancer patients might fit just about anyone, however there are some that might work better or fit more snug. In order to determine the right wig size for hair loss, you simply have to take one measurement and you will be good to go. In order to determine the right size wig you should measure around your head. Place the end of your measuring device at the center of your forehead, right at your hairline. Then take the measuring tape from your scalp down to the base of your neck, running behind your ears, and back to your forehead. With this number you be able find the wig size that is right for you. You can then compare these numbers with our wig sizes in order to determine which size you should get.
Choosing the right wig is a personal journey and we want to make sure that you are completely happy and satisfied with your wig or hairpiece . We want you to feel confident wearing her and we want you to continue to exude confidence and beauty as you go about your day to day activities. Choosing the right cancer wig will definitely boost your confidence. For additional tips, check out our video: How to Build Your Confidence as a New Wig Wearer.
How much are cancer patient wigs?
The price of wigs for cancer patients depends on the style of the wig and the quality of the hair. Our wigs for cancer patients are made from the highest quality of synthetic fiber. Generally, a Godiva’s Secret wig for cancer patients ranges from $159 to $449, depending on the kind of wig you choose. We do not offer human hair wigs because of their outlandish prices and the fact that they are hard to maintain over time.
Do you have any additional products that can be used with wigs for cancer patients?
We do! We have a variety of chemo products for cancer patients that can be used in conjunction with cancer patient wigs to ensure that you have a complete and wonderful experience wearing your wig. These products range from washing products, to bangs on a headband, to brushes for your wig, to wig grip band (which our cancer patient clients all say is a lifesaver), and everything in between. Whatever your hair and wig need is, we are “hair” to help you!
Cancer Wigs | Wigs for Chemo Patients
Hide Cancer Hair Loss With 100% Human Hair Wigs
Newport Hair Loss Center has its operations in three prominent locations in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. Give us a phone call or talk to our professionals at any of these locations. You can get our Amani Top Pieces and Wigs made of 100% natural human Hair from any of our locations.
When you plan to cover your chemotherapy hair loss, you need to wear a wig or Top piece working with existing hair texture, thickness, and density to blend in your individual and natural hair line.
Our owner and CEO, Nazy Curtis, is a breast cancer survivor and alopecia sufferer. She has experienced the devastation of hair loss and the amazing results one can achieve with a custom-made human
Schedule a private consultation with one of our trained and compassionate chemotherapy wig specialists in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and Newport Beach. Chemotherapy is never easy, but a chemo wig may be just what you need to feel self-assured during
this emotional time.
Why Chemotherapy Patients Suffer from Hair Loss
Chemotherapy drugs are powerful medications that attack fast-replicating cells, hair root cells included. Patients undergoing chemotherapy
commonly experience hair loss on their scalp.
However, you may lose hair from several areas of your body. Many patients experience loss of eyelash hair, pubic hair, leg hair and facial hair. Typically, the lost hair comes back naturally after the cancer treatment is over, complete regrowth takes a considerable amount of time.
Chemotherapy wigs can help you boost your appearance and self-esteem, no
matter which stage of growth your hair happens to be in.
Cancer Patient Wigs For A Healthy & Beautiful Appearance
It is not a good idea to keep your chemo treatment to yourself. You should understand that the treatment will lead to hair loss and plan to cover the hair loss ahead of time.
A cancer human hair wig offers an ideal way to hide your hair loss and the most perfect match for your natural hair, both in terms of hairline and texture.
Realistic Ready To Wear Cancer Wigs In A Wide Variety Of Hair Textures, Styles & Colors
Each of our cancer wigs is skillfully crafted to suit the exact needs and style of an individual cancer patient. The effect of this is an incredibly natural appearance. It seems as though each stand is growing out of your scalp. Utmost comfort comes from the use of the softest materials.
With minimal care requirements and the ability to retain its lavish beauty for up to a full year of constant use, your cancer human hair wig will allow you to look and feel your best while your
cancer treatment is ongoing.
Chemo Hair Loss Got You Down? Schedule Today & Get Your Groove Back
During your cancer treatment, you deserve to look and feel as healthy and confident as everyone else. When chemotherapy has taken your hair,
get back your confidence and take on any look you want.
Your ideal cancer human hair wig is only a confidential consultation away. Call us at Los Angeles, Newport Beach and San Diego to book your time with one of our caring chemo wig experts.
90,000 What should a cancer patient receiving chemotherapy know?
IV RUSSIAN ONCOLOGY CONFERENCE
WHAT A PATIENT RECEIVING CHEMOTHERAPY SHOULD KNOW
L.A. Davydova, N.Yu. Sidorov
FSBI NMITs of Oncology named after N.N. Blokhin, Russian Ministry of Health, Moscow
Until recently, a cancer diagnosis sounded like a death sentence. In recent decades, many malignant neoplasms have become controllable as a result of the development and implementation of new progressive technologies for diagnosis and treatment.
Cancer is naturally curable with timely and correct diagnosis and adequate treatment. Unfortunately, there is no information about the possibility of curing cancer among the population. Today there is a need to bring to the attention of people information about the possibilities and achievements of modern oncology, which is really feasible through the mass media.
All developed countries have a system of prevention and timely detection of malignant neoplasms. FSBI NMITs of Oncology named afterN.N. Blokhin ”, the Ministry of Health of Russia also carried out a lot of work on the prevention and timely detection of malignant neoplasms by conducting preventive examinations of the population at enterprises, in various cities of the country with the departure of highly qualified specialists to the field. The identified patients with various malignant tumors were sent to the RCRC for treatment. The qualified assistance provided in the early stages, naturally, has a positive effect on the results of treatment. Unfortunately, at present, this work is practically not carried out due to insufficient funding for health care.
Today, a significant proportion of patients seek medical help when the disease has already turned into a disseminated process and cannot be cured only with the help of surgery. The treatment of such patients is complex. In recent decades, along with surgical and radiation methods, drug therapy (hormone therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy) has been increasingly used.
Drug therapy is used at different stages of the disease.Depending on the extent of the spread of the process, the patient may be prescribed preoperative therapy, the implementation of which transfers the process from inoperable to operable; postoperative (prophylactic) therapy is aimed at preventing relapse.
Drug therapy is also carried out as an independent method of treatment for disseminated process. Of all types of drug therapy for tumors, chemotherapy is perhaps the most toxic type of treatment, therefore, much attention is paid to the awareness of medical personnel and patients today.
Before chemotherapy, the patient needs to explain in detail the purpose of the treatment, the expected positive and negative effects that may occur during therapy. Ideally, all information about the upcoming treatment, the likelihood and severity of adverse reactions, and the responsibilities of the patient and nursing staff should be included in the written informed consent that the patient signs before starting treatment. This is done, for example, during surgical interventions.Unfortunately, this form has not yet become widespread in chemotherapy practice and is used only in cases of prescribing new drugs and non-standard treatment regimens, as well as with the patient’s participation in international clinical trials. Meanwhile, this problem is relevant, since chemotherapy often carries no less risk than surgery, and the patient must, of course, have complete information about the upcoming treatment.
In any case, it is the responsibility of the doctor and nurse to discuss in detail with the patient all questions of the forthcoming treatment.The patient should be informed about the severity of the therapy, as well as the possibility and expected timing of adverse reactions, which usually go away on their own, without special treatment, but sometimes may require the appointment of symptomatic drugs, hospitalization, etc. The lack of timely prescribed symptomatic therapy in some cases can lead to serious consequences and even death. Perhaps the patient should not be frightened by such gloomy prospects, however, he should be instructed on the measures that he should take in case of any complications or any other health problems.It is important to explain to the patient that any changes in well-being are of interest to the doctor and nurse, even if at first glance they do not deserve attention.
The nurse, in turn, must immediately inform the attending physician about all changes in the patient’s state of health that she noticed during her shift.
The patient must be able to report all the changes in his or her health also in those cases when he is receiving treatment on an outpatient basis or when adverse reactions have developed during his stay at home.To do this, you must provide him with the phone number of the attending physician or the department in which he receives treatment. In some cases, advice on eliminating certain adverse reactions can be given simply by phone. It is desirable that the patient also has information about what drugs were administered to him during treatment.
The key to successful treatment is strict adherence by the patient and medical staff to recommendations for pre- and post-medication, aimed at reducing the risk of unwanted adverse reactions.No less important is also adherence to the established terms of treatment and examination, which ensures the maximum effectiveness of therapy.
All this is possible only in the case of close contact and trusting relationship between the medical staff and the patient.
Of no small importance is the patient’s quality of life, that is, his own assessment of the physical and psychological state, as well as relationships in society during and after treatment. Ultimately, quality of life is the best indicator of a patient’s overall health.Currently, special questionnaires have been developed and are widely used in clinical trials to assess the patient’s quality of life at any stage of the treatment process.
Supportive therapy is aimed at improving the quality of life in the process of anticancer drug therapy, which consists in the prevention and treatment of adverse reactions and individual symptoms of the disease, as well as psycho-social support for cancer patients.
According to the timing of occurrence, adverse reactions are immediate, immediate and delayed.
Immediate adverse events occur immediately during the administration of drugs or during the first day of treatment. These include skin redness, swelling, allergic reactions, fever, dizziness, chest tightness, increased blood pressure, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, severe weakness, body aches, rash, loose stools, etc. postmedication and attentive attitude to the patient at the time of administration of drugs allow avoiding many side effects, such as allergic reactions, necrosis at the injection sites, nausea, vomiting.
With modern treatment regimens, when long-term infusions, daily administration of drugs for a long time or several injections during the day are increasingly used, various types of catheters have become increasingly used to minimize trauma to peripheral veins. Peripheral catheters are easy to use and can be kept in a vein for several days. For central catheters, it is allowed to stay in the body for a longer time, subject to timely and high-quality treatment, which can be carried out at home by the patient himself, who received the appropriate instructions.The use of catheters avoids complications such as phlebitis. When inserting a catheter into a vein, the medical staff should explain to the patient what symptoms should be paid attention to (swelling at the catheter position, burning sensation, skin redness, fever). The patient must immediately inform the nurse about the appearance of all these symptoms, and she, in turn, must immediately inform the doctor and, together with him, take measures to eliminate these phenomena.
Correct use of adequate doses of antiemetics avoids such unpleasant side effects as nausea and vomiting, which are typical for many anticancer drugs.These complications, in extreme severity, are fraught with such serious consequences as dehydration of the body, violation of water and electrolyte balance, can contribute to the divergence of the edges of the wound in operated patients, the occurrence of aspiratory pneumonia. Of all the complications of chemotherapy, nausea and vomiting are perhaps the greatest deterioration in the quality of life of patients, and in the absence of adequate antiemetic support, they sometimes become the reason for refusal of treatment.
Combined use of antiemetic drugs Zofran, Navoban, Kitril, etc.in combination with corticosteroids provides the best protection against these phenomena. Today there are various dosage forms of antiemetics: solutions, suppositories, tablets. Metoclopramide (Cerucal, Raglan) has not lost its significance, which can be used not only for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting caused by moderately emetogenic cytostatics, but also for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting, as well as to combat hiccups. Drugs of some other pharmacological groups also have a certain antiemetic effect: tazepam, aminosine, haloperidol, etc.
In addition to the use of drugs, dietary measures are also recommended for the prevention of nausea and vomiting: it is necessary to eat in small portions, do not eat fried, fatty foods, whole milk, avoid taking large amounts of fluids during meals and meals immediately before the administration of drugs. The use of acidic foods (lemons, cranberries) can relieve nausea and prevent vomiting. Unlike medications, which are nevertheless more often performed by a doctor, recommendations for proper nutrition may well be explained by a nurse.
A few words should be said about the so-called preliminary nausea and vomiting, which appear already with one type of medication, the medical staff, the building of the clinic, from the expectation of treatment and memories of it. As a rule, this is the result of inadequate antiemetic therapy during previous courses. Preliminary nausea and vomiting are psychogenic in nature, therefore, in this situation, standard antiemetics are not effective. It is proposed to use distraction therapy: watching television during treatment, music, reading, emotional and psychological support, hypnosis, psychotherapy.
The nearest undesirable side effects occur within 7-10 days after treatment and are most often manifested by a decrease in blood counts, impaired liver and kidney function, inflammation of the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract, changes in the nervous system, etc.
One of the most painful and frequent complications during this period is damage to the oral mucosa up to ulcerative stomatitis, in which, due to severe pain, the ability to take liquid and food is lost.The development of stomatitis is facilitated by foci of infection in the oral cavity (including carious teeth, lack of proper oral care). In this situation, it is extremely important to carry out appropriate symptomatic measures (sanitation of the oral cavity with disinfectant solutions, lubrication of ulcers with sea buckthorn and / or rosehip oil, solcoseryl, actovegin, rinsing with anesthetics in case of severe pain syndrome). The patient should receive information about the methods of treatment of stomatitis from the doctor and nurse.In the case of a severe general condition of the patient, the implementation of these measures is entirely assigned to the nurse.
A decrease in peripheral blood counts is a frequent complication of chemotherapy and, in cases of extreme severity, can lead to infectious complications against the background of a deep and prolonged decrease in the number of leukocytes or bleeding against the background of a pronounced decrease in the number of platelets. The patient must necessarily know that a general blood test must be performed strictly within the time specified by the doctor.It will be easy to convince him of this if we explain that information on blood counts in the interval between chemotherapy cycles is necessary for the correct calculation of the dose of drugs for the next course of treatment. It is also necessary to orient the patient in relation to a possible increase in body temperature, which may be the first and only sign of an incipient infectious complication, and this situation requires mandatory antibacterial treatment in a hospital setting.
The patient should also know that the appearance of nosebleeds and / or bruises or small-point hemorrhages on the skin (petechiae) against the background of a decrease in the number of platelets is the first and formidable sign of hemorrhagic syndrome and also requires immediate hospitalization and appropriate symptomatic therapy.
Delayed undesirable side effects are manifested in the form of dysfunction of various systems and organs (cardiac and nervous systems, kidneys, liver, etc.). Treatment of these complications is usually carried out by a doctor and appropriate specialists (neuropathologist, cardiologist).
A word about another delayed complication of chemotherapy. As a result of the use of most cytostatics, as a rule, there is an intense loss of all types of hair, including eyelashes and eyebrows.This adverse reaction does not threaten the patient’s life in any way, however, it is often perceived by patients as the most severe complication, especially if the patient is a woman. Hair loss significantly worsens the quality of life of patients, especially when you consider that most of them, provided they feel well, combine treatment with professional activities. Sometimes, information about possible hair loss is the only reason to refuse treatment.
In this regard, it is necessary, first, to mention the existing possibility of preserving hair during the period of chemotherapy.For this purpose, hypothermia of the scalp is applied with the help of special helmets filled with cooled gel, which are tightly dressed in 30 minutes. before the start of drug administration and removed after 40-60 minutes. after the end of the introduction. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this method is not absolute and is applicable only for those drugs that are administered by jet or as an infusion lasting no more than 30 minutes.
Secondly, in this situation, correctly presented information is extremely important. The patient should be aware that this side effect is transient, and the hair begins to grow back 1-2 months after the end of therapy.In addition, wigs or headscarves may be suggested. It is important to explain that these measures are temporary, that they are much less important at this stage than the effectiveness of treatment, and finally, that they do not disfigure the appearance, but only change it for a certain period of time.
The key to successful treatment of a patient in an oncology clinic, as well as any other patient, is close interaction and mutual understanding of at least three links of the treatment process: the patient, the doctor and the mid-level medical personnel, i.e.e. a nurse, therefore it is extremely important to establish psycho-emotional contact with the patient at the very beginning of treatment. This will provide comfortable treatment conditions not only for the patient, but also for the medical staff.
90,000 Hair loss in children with cancer
Frequently asked questions about hair loss in cancer
Will my hair fall out after chemotherapy? Depends on the situation. Hair loss is common with certain chemotherapy drugs.However, chemotherapy does not necessarily lead to hair loss. In some patients, hair may not fall out. For others, they become thinner. Some chemotherapy drugs cause complete hair loss, including eyebrows, eyelashes, and body hair. The likelihood and degree of hair loss depends on the specific type of chemotherapy and the dose of drugs.
When exactly will hair fall out after chemotherapy? As a rule, hair begins to fall out 2-3 weeks after starting chemotherapy.This may happen sooner or later depending on the chemotherapy schedule.
Will the hair grow back after chemotherapy? Hair loss after chemotherapy is usually temporary. But after the end of the treatment, it will take some time for the hair to grow back. In most patients, hair growth occurs 2-3 months after completing chemotherapy. New hair can look like “fluff”. They then thicken as the hair growth cycle returns to normal.Hair reaches full thickness after 6-12 months. Parents of children who previously had long hair may need to explain to their child that growing long hair can take a very long time. The average hair growth rate is 15 cm (6 inches) per year.
Will my hair fall out after irradiation? As a rule, hair loss after radiation therapy is limited to the parts of the body to which the radiation is directed. If the radiation therapy is not directed to the head, the patient will not lose hair on the scalp unless chemotherapy or other drugs that cause hair loss are used.
Can I prevent hair loss during chemotherapy? There is currently no safe and effective way to prevent hair loss in children receiving chemotherapy. Cooling the scalp with cooling caps may have some beneficial effects in preventing hair loss in adults with cancer. However, research data is limited, and there is insufficient information on the safety and effectiveness of this method in children.Below you will find more information on the use of cooling caps for cancer.
90,000 Rights and services – information for patients and recovering from cancer
Leumit Health Insurance Fund Headquarters: Tel Aviv, st. Shprintsak 23, phone 03-6970303, www.leumit.co.il. Travel and transportation money Cancer patients traveling to the hospital for procedures receive a round-trip refund equal to the cost of public transport.In case of arrival at the place of treatment in an ambulance or a taxi, the refund is 50% of the costs (subject to a letter from the hospital confirming the impossibility of the patient arriving by public transport). Boarding Accommodation In the event that patients undergo radio or chemotherapy away from the hospital, for example, if a resident of Eilat is being treated in Jerusalem, Leumit participates in the cost of living in a boarding house located close to the place of treatment up to a specified limit which changes from time to time.Treatment, equipment and drugs The contribution of the health insurance fund is determined by law and is adjusted from time to time. Wig Assistance with purchasing a wig: up to a limit of NIS 333. Additional financial assistance is provided under the supplementary insurance (SHABAN): Member of the HMO insured under the Leumit Kesef program: refund of 80% of the cost and up to NIS 609 (the maximum refund amount under supplementary insurance includes a refund within the basket).Leumit Zahav Health Insurance Member: 80% refund of the cost and up to NIS 1,550 (maximum refund for supplementary insurance includes basket refund). Breast Prostheses Responsibility for refunds for breast prostheses rests with the Ministry of Health. Speech prosthesis for persons who have undergone a complete amputation of the throat The Health Insurance Fund pays the full cost of the implantation, care or replacement of a speech prosthesis for patients who have undergone a complete amputation of the throat due to cancer.Electronic Speech Synthesis for People Who Have Undergone a Complete Throat Amputation The cost of an electronic speech synthesis device for patients who have undergone a complete throat amputation is fully covered by the Health Insurance Fund. Chemotherapy drugs All drugs on the Health Insurance Fund’s Drug List are provided on the basis of a doctor’s prescription in accordance with the definitions of the Health Care Act.
104 Rights and obligations in various health insurance funds
90,000 How to prepare for chemotherapy mp3 download (2.01 MB)
How to prepare for chemotherapy
# questions answers_dp
In today’s issue, we will find out the answer to the question “how to properly prepare for chemotherapy?”
Chemotherapy is one of the most effective cancer treatments. Today we will talk about the necessary preparation before starting the course of treatment.
The head of the oncology department, doctor of the highest category, oncologist-chemotherapist Kulyab Yaroslav Nikolaevich will tell you in detail about this!
Clinic of German Medicine “Good Forecast” specializes in the treatment of oncology.Also, we are engaged in the surgical treatment of diseases from the …
Chemotherapy preparation part 1 – wig, protocol, port
Chemotherapy preparation part 1 – wig, protocol, port
My instagram: instagram.com/jennytokarev/
Nutrition and lifestyle during chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a method of drug treatment of a malignant tumor. In most cases, this treatment helps to curb tumor growth and improve the patient’s quality of life.Also, with the help of chemotherapy, you can turn an inoperable cancer into an operable one. How to properly prepare for chemotherapy? How to eat and what lifestyle should you follow during the procedure? Do’s and don’ts? Chemotherapist, deputy chief physician for the outpatient clinic SM-Clinic on Klara Tsetkin Shirokov Street tells …
First chemotherapy. Preparing for chemotherapy
“Red” chemistry. Feelings immediately after and during.In this video, I go into detail about how I prepared for chemotherapy. The main stage is examinations by various doctors. I wanted to be sure that my body is ready for the upcoming stress and that I can preserve all my systems and organs during aggressive treatment.
List of doctors I visited before starting chemotherapy (in terms of importance, in my opinion)
1. Cardiologist (ultrasound, cardiogram, specialist consultation)
2. Gynecologist (ultrasound, specialist consultation, sex tests …
Chemotherapy in practice: 5 basic rules
Do’s and don’ts during chemotherapy and between courses.What you need to pay attention to. Bad habits.
Before my first chemotherapy, the doctor handed me a patient memo called a survival guide. Seeing her, I thought my life had just ended. In fact, I quickly realized that all these restrictions are a purely individual matter, and that between courses I can safely lead a normal life.
I’ve lost track of how many chemistry courses I’ve had since then, but …
I have deduced for myself 5 basic rules, …
Basic rules of chemotherapy: before, during and after (Tkachenko E.B.)
Elena Viktorovna Tkachenko – Head of the Department of Short-Term Chemotherapy – Oncologist, Researcher, Research Department of Innovative Methods of Therapeutic Oncology and Rehabilitation of the N.N. N.N. Petrov “Ministry of Health of Russia, Ph.D., St. Petersburg
VI St. Petersburg International Cancer Forum “White Nights 2020”
Website of the White Nights Forum forum-onco.ru/
Facebook facebook.com / niioncologii
Chemotherapy, how it is How is the course of chemotherapy and how it feels
We can say that during treatment we are not fighting cancer at all. Chemistry fights him. And we are just struggling with the consequences of this chemistry. With side effects and symptoms.
I will tell you how chemotherapy usually goes and what feelings you feel physically and emotionally. And also, what is useful to take with you to the hospital.Thank you and great respect to everyone who watched to the end.
I hope the video was useful to you.
A lot of useful things here: ronron.store/start
More interesting videos:
Chemotherapy in practice. 5 basic rules: youtu.be/jsKothGQlSs …
How to Prepare for Chemotherapy | Drug therapy
#chemotherapy #oncology #immunotherapy
Leading chemotherapist Yulia A. Gronskaya
Phone: +7 (812) 565-24-10
Mail: info @ pavlenko-center.ru
Conversation with the oncologist. Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a type of systemic treatment of malignant tumors using cytostatic (antineoplastic) drugs.
Anton Vladimirovich Shtukert, an oncologist, tells more about this.
0:46 Indications for chemotherapy
2:11 Contraindications for chemotherapy
2:52 Side Effects of Chemotherapy
6:31 Chemotherapy process
9:00 Rehabilitation after chemotherapy
You can also find out information about chemotherapy on the website of the N.N.ac. E.N. Meshalkin: meshalkin.ru/khimioterapiya
Consult in absentia with …
Chemotherapy. Do’s and Don’ts
What to do during and after chemotherapy? Can I go on vacation, go to the bathhouse? The most popular questions are answered by the oncologist, hematologist, head of the “Clinic of Dr. Laskov” Mikhail Laskov.
The clinic of Dr. Laskov (formerly called “Clinic of Outpatient Oncology and Hematology”) is located in Moscow and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and blood diseases.Doctors lead the case completely from diagnosis to follow-up after treatment and answer all questions. There is a remote consultation, …
Chemotherapy: everything the patient needs to know during treatment
An expert of the First Oncological Hospital in Moscow will talk about modern approaches to the drug treatment of cancer
Chemotherapy is one of the main treatments for various cancers. Approaches to chemotherapy are constantly being improved, today the drug treatment of patients has become more personalized and more effective.The day manager will tell you about the most important aspects and modern approaches in chemotherapy treatment, as well as how to reduce side effects during treatment …
Onco weekdays. How to prepare for chemotherapy. Best friend Valerian, positive attitude
How hard is chemotherapy tolerated What are the side effects of it
How difficult is chemotherapy? What are the side effects?
etc.M.Sc. Chief Researcher of the N.N.Blokhin National Medical Research Center of Oncology, Ministry of Health of Russia.
Heading “Question-answer. Consultation for patients”.
#chemotherapy # side effects # Roszdravnadzor
“Cancer is in many cases no longer a sentence”: Israeli oncologist Polina Stepensky – about her work
Pauline Stepensky – oncohematologist with more than 20 years of experience, head of the department of bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy for children and adults in an Israeli clinic Hadassah.She is regularly included in the list of the best doctors in Israel according to the local edition of Forbes. In 2018, Stepenski was awarded the Person of the Year award in Israel. In Russia, she is the curator of the Moscow branch of Hadassah, which opened in the International Medical Cluster in Skolkovo in 2018. She told Forbes Woman about new therapies for cancer, the future of chemotherapy, and the rules for early diagnosis.
– Tell us about your path in medicine. Have you received your medical education already in Israel?
– I came to Israel in 1990, having behind me four years of study at the medical institute in my native Vinnitsa.I spoke Hebrew with an accent, although I started learning it back in the USSR, and in fact I did not even have an education. It is extremely difficult to enter a medical institute in Israel, so first I went to study at a nursing school and there I realized: no problem, I will be a doctor. My dad, who died when I was only 25, wanted me to become a professor of medicine, and I firmly decided that I would become one.
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And then you just need to do your job well: work, study, write scientific articles, without being distracted by trifles.You know, they say that there is essence and there is nonsense (translated from English – “the essence, the main thing” and “nonsense, stupidity” – Forbes Woman ). So, I believe that you need to do only what is essence for you. It’s easy to do what you love, and I love my profession. Because I’m studying what I’m really interested in: how genes affect the functioning of the immune system and how it can be controlled in order to treat dangerous diseases, including cancer.
I graduated from the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine in 1998.Now I am already a professor and head of the department, but I still continue to study. There is not a day in which I would not read some new scientific article. The modern doctor needs to constantly develop, because medicine does not stand still: new drugs, new methods are constantly appearing, and you need to know about them so as not to reinvent the wheel yourself.
– How has the field of oncology changed during your career?
– Great strides have been made in the fight against cancer over the past quarter century.For example, many oncological diseases of the blood, which literally 10-15 years ago were actually a death sentence, today are not. Moreover, in principle, you can live happily ever after with them. For example, chronic leukemia – the very name of this disease indicates that it has become chronic, like, say, diabetes. Another example is multiple myeloma, a severe malignant blood disease. When I graduated from university, people with this diagnosis died within a maximum of two years.Now people can live with multiple myeloma for years, and a normal full life: going to work, traveling, spending time with family and friends.
All this has become possible thanks to the emergence of new technologies. When I was doing my residency (analogue of clinical residency, accepted in the Western system of medical education – Forbes Woman ) in oncology, the era of biological drugs was just beginning. Then everyone was mainly treated with chemotherapy, and it is like napalm: it burns out everything, while the treatment may or may not work.Biological agents are much more subtle and less traumatic for the body. For example, monoclonal antibodies that neutralize proteins that are on the surface of cancer cells. Or bivalent antibodies that connect cancer cells to cells in our immune system that kill them – T-lymphocytes.
– Does the emergence of these new therapies mean that chemotherapy will soon be unnecessary?
– You know, such predictions were made even during my residency.When the same monoclonal antibodies appeared, some said: “Wow, now we will defeat all tumors with their help.” But practice has shown that this, to put it mildly, is not entirely true. And chemotherapy is still used today. The future is combining different tools to fight cancer, this is the most effective approach. And it’s good that there are more and more of these tools.
“The feeling that the medical system is designed to kill a person.” Forbes oncologist on brain drain, burnout and ideal doctors
– Your team is developing and using a new therapy method – CAR-T.Please tell us more about it. How does it work, what diseases does it treat?
– Modern oncology is developing towards personalized treatment methods that can be flexibly adapted to each individual patient. This method is one of those. In addition, it combines the strength of cellular and humoral (i.e. biochemical) immunity.
CAR-T stands for chimeric antigen receptor T-cells, ie chimeric antigen receptor of T cells.We are already familiar with T cells: they are cells in our immune system that kill cancerous tumors. Antigens are substances foreign to the body, including from the surface of cancer cells, with which special proteins of blood plasma bind – antibodies, which are precisely responsible for humoral immunity.
“Chimera” occurs when we take T-lymphocytes from a patient and, with the help of a virus, genetically modify them so that they have the necessary antibodies – the very antigen receptors – against a cancer.After that, we give the patient a mild chemotherapy to suppress his immune system a little, and inject a large amount of these “chimeric” lymphocytes.
CAR-T therapy is effective against tumors in which antigens live on the surface of cancer cells. For example, against lymphoma, which affects the lymphatic tissue. In Israel, CAR-T treatment for lymphoma is carried out under the universal health insurance program. At Hadassah, we are working on applying this method to other types of cancer, such as the severe malignant blood disease such as multiple myeloma.More than 20 clinical studies of CAR-T in multiple myeloma have been conducted with good results.
But in most tumors, antigens are found inside the cells. Other technologies are used against these, such as TCR therapy, from the words “T-cell receptor” (T-cell receptor). We are also conducting research in this direction: now we are studying the NY-ESO-1 antigen, which is expressed in many sarcomas and melanomas, and we are recruiting patients for clinical trials of a new method of their treatment.
– You are also engaged in genetic engineering. What do you think of the “scissors” for editing the CRISPR / Cas9 genome, for the development of which two women, American Jennifer Doudna and Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Charpentier, received last year the Nobel Prize?
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– I think this is a great discovery from the point of view of biology. I was very happy for Dudna, I personally know her. But the validity of the use of CRISPR / Cas9 in clinical practice has not yet been proven.First of all, I’m talking about security. So far, there are many cases of insufficiently accurate “excision” of genes with these scissors. When we learn to do this without mistakes, great prospects may open up in the fight, including with genetic diseases. I think it will be in a few years. But at the moment it is just dangerous.
It is great to do high science, but if it ultimately does not make people’s lives better, then who needs it?
You know that children have already been born in China, whose genomes have been edited with CRISPR / Cas9.The scientist who did this was imprisoned, and I think that’s right. Because the ethical use of this technology is not yet justified.
I have people on my team who have mastered this technology, but we have not used them in studies that involve human trials. Although I know that our colleagues have already conducted clinical studies of CAR-T, in which lymphocytes were genetically modified using CRISPR / Cas9. But in this case, we are talking about a change in lymphocytes, and not the whole organism, not stem cells, from which all the rest arise.It is much less dangerous.
Access to good. As a 28-year-old Muscovite, she founded a fund to support young oncologists and fed doctors during the pandemic
– Your team conducts a lot of clinical research. What is your interest here as a specialist?
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– In Israel, clinical research is, as they say, “bread and butter”: the foundation, what we do every day. This is good from all sides.First, it is an opportunity to give patients such treatment that they cannot get anywhere else now. Secondly, it is an opportunity for doctors to take part in large international collaborations. Finally, thirdly, this is an opportunity to make some money, which is also important.
Unfortunately, the experience of clinical trials in Russia is much less than in Israel. But I know that some of my Russian colleagues are doing brilliant clinical research, even during a pandemic.Therefore, I take off my hat and believe that you should develop this more, if possible, not only in oncology.
– Israel is rightfully considered one of the world leaders in medicine, including oncology. Apart from those you have already mentioned, what other “secrets” of success do Israeli doctors have?
– Firstly, as I have already said, it is very difficult for us to enter a university to study as a doctor. This is the most prestigious specialty, the highest competition for it. This is despite the fact that Israel is a nation of startups, many here want to become programmers or engage in high technologies.And yet, it is still the most difficult thing to enroll in medicine. That is, initially the bar is set very high.
Secondly, from the first year the education of future doctors in Israel is largely applied – which does not prevent, however, from deeply studying fundamental disciplines such as genetics. But at the same time, students are taught, for example, to communicate correctly with patients, explain that the patient is at the center of everything and our main task is to make him feel good. Give him good service. I think this is very correct.It’s great to do high science, but if it ultimately doesn’t make people’s lives better, then who needs it?
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Third, we strictly adhere to the principles of evidence-based medicine. The way we treat patients is based on scientific evidence, on the analysis of experimental results. Your own medical experience is also important, but you cannot make decisions only on the basis of it.
Speaking specifically about cancer, we have a well-organized early diagnosis system in Israel.This is very important, because the earlier we start therapy, the later and less likely to develop severe symptoms, and the person will be able to live a normal life longer.
– Tell us more about this diagnostic system, please.
– It is based on a set of mandatory check-ups (tests) that are monitored by family doctors. There are clear guidelines based, again, on evidence-based medicine data. The main tests are part of the health insurance scheme, which is the Israeli equivalent of the Russian compulsory medical insurance system.This includes, for example, mammography or the Pap smear test, which can detect early cervical cancer. It is thanks to this test that the death rate from this disease in Israel is one of the lowest in the world.
All these check-ups are not allowed to take their course. For example, a woman after 50 years of age gets a call from the health insurance fund and says: “You need to have a mammogram, but, according to our information, you did not do it. If you have passed such testing, then send us the results, please, if not, then do it. “And so they will call regularly until the mammogram is actually done. I know this for myself: it doesn’t matter if I am a doctor or not, I am also required to undergo the necessary testing.
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– How has the coronavirus pandemic affected hospitals in Israel?
– Until the vaccine was available, we at Hadassah were taking covid tests every week. And all the same, I was afraid all year that I would infect someone. After all, in our hospital there are many people with weakened immunity or no immunity at all.Now we have already vaccinated all medical personnel without exception – this is a mandatory requirement. You cannot work in a hospital in Israel without vaccination.
Since my colleagues and I are already vaccinated, we can now travel quite freely to other countries. And I hope that soon the epidemiological situation will improve and our specialists will be able to come to Moscow on a regular basis again to work in person in our branch.
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– Why did Hadassah decide to open a branch in Moscow?
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– It’s no secret that every year many cancer patients from Russia come to Israel for treatment. We are happy to help them, but we believe that people should be able to receive the necessary medical care in their country. Because traveling abroad for this, firstly, is expensive, and secondly, at the same time people drop out of their traditional environment, which is difficult for many.
People from Israel do not travel to Europe, the USA or Japan for medical treatment, because they can receive almost all the necessary medical services in the country. There are extremely rare clinical trials for which the patient needs to go somewhere. And we want it to be the same in Russia.
We also strongly believe in knowledge transfer. We have no secrets. Israel, of course, is the Holy Land, but nevertheless, it is not air or water that heals here, but people who are the same everywhere. And I will also be very happy if as many doctors as possible appear in Russia who are familiar with our methods and can apply them.They might even improve on some of these methods, why not? We can do clinical trials together, and if they show that the approach proposed by our Russian colleagues is better, we will be all for it!
– The International Medical Cluster in Skolkovo is a kind of “offshore” where you can use medical technologies and drugs that have not yet been registered in Russia, but have already been approved for use in the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.What advanced Israeli medical practices do you bring to Russia?
– For example, these are checkpoint inhibitors – drugs that “release the brakes” from our immune cells, lymphocytes, so that they actively attack cancer cells. In Israel, we use this technology very widely.
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We also expect to bring
CAR-T therapy to Russia soon. So far, in Skolkovo, we can only do screening to determine whether such treatment is suitable for the patient, and if so, send him to Israel for therapy.But in the near future, Hadassah Moscow will have to open its own therapeutic center, and I hope that then we will be able to offer such treatment in your country.
In addition, in our branch in Moscow, we want to introduce a check-up system for early diagnosis of cancer, similar to the Israeli one, which I have already described.
– “Schools for patients” are now beginning to be created in Russia, because their involvement in the treatment process, their understanding of the process greatly influences its effectiveness.How is this communication with patients and their relatives built in your country? How are they trained, what share of responsibility and information load do they bear?
– You know, I do not like the word “load” at all and I don’t think that the patient should bear any load. He has already come to us with his suffering, he has enough, and he doesn’t have to bear anything else. The rest is us.
We really have a very developed practice of explaining to patients what we are doing.It cannot be built without nurses and coordinators. We have a coordinator in each area who is responsible for communicating with patients: ensuring that they pass all checks on time, and so on. The coordinator is not necessarily a medic himself. Although we had one experienced nurse who got tired of this job and became a coordinator. She sat with patients for hours and explained to them how we treat them and what happens to them, because she perfectly understood this from her own experience.
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This is how it works all over the world – not only in Israel, but also in America and England.And I think if you organize “patient schools” in Russia, you should also have such an employee in them in each area, for example, a nurse. A doctor will never be able to explain everything to a patient in such detail, the doctor simply physically does not have so much time for this. For example, at Hadassah we show patients undergoing CAR-T therapy special cartoons about how this technology works. At first I did it myself, but then I realized that I was sorry for my time. Now these cartoons are shown to the patients by the nurses and then they discuss what they saw with them for 40 minutes.And I can go to work. If, after a discussion with the nurse, the patient still has questions, this is for me.
In addition, we have people who have themselves undergone, say, the removal of a tumor and are ready to discuss it with those who are just about to. Nothing compares to communicating with a person who has suffered it himself.
– What would you like to say on your behalf to patients facing cancer?
– First of all, remember: today cancer is in many cases no longer a sentence.Cancer diagnosis is not a reason to give up. On the contrary, you need to do everything possible, look for any options to help yourself or loved ones, no matter what country you live in.
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Chemotherapy Department – Amur Regional Oncological Dispensary
What is chemotherapy?
The following treatments are carried out in the chemotherapy department
The virtues of chemotherapy
How effective is chemotherapy?
How is chemotherapy performed?
Other side effects
By 1984, drug therapy was widely introduced into the complex treatment of patients with malignant neoplasms.This led to the creation of a specialized department on the basis of the OOD.
On July 01, 1984, a new, unique drug therapy department was opened at the OOD. It was deployed to 25 beds. The first head of the department was a doctor – surgeon – oncologist Lebedeva Svetlana Mikhailovna.
At the moment, the department has 55 beds. The medical and practical activities of the department are carried out by a team of specialists, which includes the head of the department, 4 doctors, residents, as well as a team of middle and junior medical personnel.
Onyanova Nonna Nikolaevna – Head of the Department, Doctor – Oncologist, Doctor of the Highest Category, Chief Freelance Specialist of the Ministry of Health of the Amur Region.
Tovbik Natalya Aleksandrovna – Doctor – Oncologist, Doctor of I category
Ekonia Diana Teimurazievna – Oncologist
Vinokhodova Anna Aleksandrovna – oncologist
Yanushevsky Konstantin Vladislavovich – Doctor – Oncologist
Kozlov Artyom Olegovich – Doctor – Oncologist
What is chemotherapy?
Drug therapy for cancer (chemotherapy) is a drug treatment for cancer.
There are a number of other drug treatments for tumor that, strictly speaking, are also chemotherapeutic, such as hormone therapy and immunotherapy, but the term “chemotherapy” means treatment with drugs that interfere with the process of cancer cell division.
There are several modes of drug treatment:
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy – when drug treatment is carried out as a stage of preoperative preparation to reduce the size of the tumor and destroy metastases.
Adjuvant chemotherapy – when drug treatment is carried out as a postoperative one to destroy metastases.
Self-administered chemotherapy – when drug treatment is given as the only treatment for the tumor.
The following treatments are carried out in the chemotherapy department:
- Modern chemotherapy of tumors of the lung, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectum, soft tissue sarcomas, testicular and ovarian tumors, bone sarcomas, skin melanoma, breast cancer, prostate tumors, bladder, neuroendocrine tumors.
- At the moment, the department is carrying out drug treatment of lymphomas in accordance with Russian and global standards of chemotherapy using modern medicinal agents.
- High-dose chemotherapy for bone sarcomas.
- Treatment with interleukin-2, interferon-alpha (including high doses), tumor necrosis factor.
- Targeted therapy
- Use of monoclonal antibodies, low molecular weight inhibitors of tyrosine kinases
- Treatment of skin melanoma, lung tumors, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, soft tissue sarcomas, kidney cancer, neuroendocrine tumors.
The benefits of chemotherapy.
This is a systemic treatment – this is a huge advantage of chemotherapy over other cancer treatments. It is often not possible to remove all cancer cells by surgery or radiation therapy, which are local methods, i.e. their action is directed only to one specific part of the body. This is due to the fact that a certain number of cells can separate from the primary tumor and through the bloodstream enters one or another part of the body, where it begins to grow, forming metastases.Because chemotherapy drugs travel in the same way, they can infect these distant cells and secondary tumors anywhere in the body.
Cancer cells differ from normal cells very slightly – they have a disturbed mechanism that controls their growth and reproduction, but otherwise most of the chemical processes occurring in cells of both types are similar. Therefore, drugs that target cancer cells also damage normal cells, albeit to a lesser extent.Cancer cells, in comparison with normal cells of the body, are less capable of self-healing. The use of chemotherapeutic methods is based on taking into account this deficiency. Treatment usually lasts from one to several days, then take a break for several weeks. During this time, normal cells of the body are restored, while cancer cells are restored only slightly. Subsequent cycles of medication are aimed at further destroying cancer cells while normal cells regenerate continuously.
How effective is chemotherapy?
Certain types of cancer are curable with medication alone. However, for most types of cancer this is not yet possible, and drug treatment in such cases is carried out in order to control the development of the disease and contain it, as well as to relieve symptoms. The main reason why chemotherapy cannot cure most types of cancer is because cancer cells become resistant to drugs, or they are partially or completely resistant to them from the very beginning.For example, if 99% of the cells in a cancer are drug-sensitive, chemotherapy will eliminate 99% of the damage, but will have no effect on the remaining 1% of the cells, which will continue to grow. Drug resistance and incomplete destruction of cancer cells are critical barriers to improved treatment efficacy and have become the subject of intense scientific research. Cancer cells acquire resistance to a particular drug due to the development of biochemical processes that make it possible to overcome the damage caused to cells by this drug.One way to solve this problem is to prescribe several different drugs, each of which has a specific destructive effect on cancer cells. This treatment is called polychemotherapy. The development of several cell defense mechanisms at once is more difficult, therefore, the effectiveness of the effect on the tumor increases. This chemotherapy method has led to significant increases in cure rates for many types of cancer.
How is chemotherapy administered?
Chemotherapy drugs are injected into the body by various methods – they can be administered orally (through the mouth), more often intravenously (intravenous method).Sometimes chemotherapy drugs are injected directly into specific areas of the body, such as the cerebrospinal fluid or pleural space. In this case, the goal is to achieve a high concentration of the drug in a given place. The most common way is to inject the chemotherapy drug into a vein, either by injection or more often by infusion. Such treatment is carried out on an outpatient or inpatient basis. Each dose of the drug is administered over a period of one to several days at intervals of 1-4 weeks.(depending on the treatment regimen) with a total number of courses from 4 to 8. Sometimes low doses are continuously administered, for which a small portable pump is used. On it, drugs are poured into the body for several weeks or even months. The pump is attached to a belt or carried in a bag and patients can go about their normal activities.
Chemotherapy can cause various side effects and treatment is often unpleasant and poorly tolerated.Now chemotherapy has changed beyond recognition. The new generation of drugs cause fewer side effects, and at the same time, they are often more effective than the previous generation.
The three most common side effects of drug treatments for cancer are nausea and vomiting, hair loss, and bone marrow suppression. Nausea and vomiting have been the most painful reactions to chemotherapy in the past. Currently, effective anti-nausea drugs (antiemetic drugs) have been developed.In many cases, they are able to eliminate nausea, and now there are practically no situations when patients undergoing chemotherapy would suffer indomitable nausea or vomiting. Because chemotherapy drugs have also improved in quality and often cause less discomfort, many patients go through the entire course of chemotherapy without suffering from nausea or vomiting. Hair loss occurs with some, but not all, chemotherapy drugs. This may be nothing more than minor hair loss or thinning, but sometimes complete baldness occurs, and not only on the head, but also on other parts of the body.Patients can find it difficult to adapt to such a change in appearance, which, among other things, can probably be perceived as a very bright external manifestation of the disease. Many people wear wigs or cover their heads with a scarf or hat. Hair loss is only temporary and will always grow back immediately after treatment. The effect on the bone marrow is due to the fact that its cells are especially sensitive to chemotherapy drugs. The bone marrow produces blood components – erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets.When the number of these cells is reduced as a result of damage by cytotoxic agents, a number of side effects can occur: a feeling of fatigue and weakness as a result of anemia caused by insufficient red blood cells; susceptibility to infections due to low levels of white blood cells; bleeding and bruising as a result of a lack of platelets. All of these side effects are largely controlled. Anemia is treated by stimulating the red growth of the bone marrow. If the levels of leukocytes are low, they resort to stimulation of the white sprout of the bone marrow.A decrease in platelet count is treated with platelet infusion. New platelet growth factors are being developed to treat and prevent bleeding due to their low levels.
Other side effects.
Diarrhea (diarrhea) is common with some, but not all, chemotherapy drugs. It is effectively treated with conventional over-the-counter medicines. If diarrhea is severe, chemotherapy is temporarily paused or the dose of chemotherapy drug is reduced until the diarrhea stops.
Fertility. Some chemotherapy drugs can interfere with male fertility, reducing the number of sperm in the semen and leading to sometimes permanent infertility. Chemotherapy can also interfere with female ovulation, leading to temporary and permanent infertility. Fertility-related issues should be discussed with your doctor before starting medication so that preventive measures can be taken. Men can be offered sperm preservation, which involves keeping samples of their semen frozen in case they plan to have children in the future.The storage of female eggs is currently the subject of experimental research and may well become possible. People suffering from infertility as a result of treatment need counseling and moral support to help them come to terms with their condition. For women whose treatment is causing permanent menopause, hormone replacement therapy can be given to relieve symptoms, which can be very severe.
Sex life. There is no reason for refusing to have sexual intercourse during drug treatment, although due to other side effects, patients may not feel well enough for this.Since the effect of chemotherapy on fertility is somewhat uncertain and unpredictable, it is recommended that you always use some form of contraceptive during treatment and for some time after it ends, regardless of which partner is given it, because there is a chance of conception during this period. Men undergoing chemotherapy should consider using condoms, as women sometimes complain of the sharp pain and burning sensation caused by semen.
Thanks to recent advances in the quality of the drugs themselves, the methods of their administration and the methods of alleviating or preventing side effects, chemotherapy has become much easier to tolerate than it was 10 years ago.
Nowadays doctors often hear that patients tolerate chemotherapy courses much easier than they thought. However, chemotherapy still causes unpleasant emotions and intense anxiety, which is why many people need support from their family and friends to help them cope with problems and maintain a positive attitude towards what is a kind of marathon distance in the process. treatment.
Numerous scientific studies and clinical trials are ongoing to develop better chemotherapy treatments for nearly all cancers. The most striking results have come from research to develop effective ways to combine chemotherapy with other treatments, such as radiotherapy and surgery, to heal or prolong life in situations that previously would have been impossible.
New I.How to Accept Changes in Appearance During Cancer Treatment
One of the biggest challenges women face during cancer treatment is taking on a new face both during treatment and later during recovery.
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What happens to your appearance during treatment?
Standard cancer treatment protocols include chemotherapy.In other words, drugs are injected into the human body that fight malignant tumor cells at the cellular level. Tumor cells usually divide rather quickly. It is on this property that the action of chemotherapy drugs is aimed.
But there are also side effects of the treatment. Chemotherapy works throughout the body and can target some rapidly growing healthy cells such as skin, hair, intestines, and bone marrow. Due to the effects of these drugs, hair falls out two and a half weeks after the first course of chemotherapy.Sparse, sometimes fine hairs may grow back between chemotherapy courses.
Hair loss was a very traumatic process for me. It seemed that with the loss of hair, I was losing my femininity and attractiveness. At first, my hair thinned a lot, and with a sinking heart I dreamed that not all of them would fall out, and that I would have a rare, but nevertheless, hairstyle. After a couple of days, the hair completely fell off during washing and remained at the bottom of the bath. I was very upset. It was difficult to accept myself in the mirror.Eyelashes, eyebrows and other body hair gradually fall out not as quickly as on the head.
Before the introduction of chemotherapy drugs, the so-called premedication is administered, it is needed to reduce side effects such as nausea, vomiting, allergies. These drugs also affect appetite. And in between courses of chemotherapy, weight gain may occur instead of the expected weight loss.
All food was delicious during those periods and I gained a little over my normal weight.There may also be slight swelling that looks like weight gain. If, after chemotherapy, treatment with hormonal drugs is prescribed, the TBE may grow. With a great sense of humor, Daria Dontsova described her struggle with increasing weight during treatment with hormone therapy in her autobiographical book.
During the operation, one of the methods of treatment, the tumor is removed from the affected organ. The surgeon-oncologist is looking for a compromise between the necessary complete removal of the tumor and the possibility of the most full-fledged life after the operation.For example, for breast cancer, surgery can be minor, when the appearance of the breast is virtually unchanged, or complete mastectomy, when the entire breast is removed. Even with the complete removal of the mammary glands, surgeons provide for the possibility of their reconstruction, and sometimes they carry out simultaneous operations, when implants are immediately inserted along with the removal of the affected tissues.
Latvia has recently decided on state funding for breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy.Despite the efforts of the doctors, the operation involves scars, complete removal of some organs, lifelong stomas.
How to accept a new self during treatment?
If we abstract from the idealized picture of your appearance, the reflection in the mirror is not so bad (when the situation is of medium complexity and the treatment is moving according to plan). Some impudent girls choose a bare head voluntarily, shave their heads and consider it beautiful.
Any chemotherapy lasts a long time, so you will have to walk without hair for 9 long months – about six months of therapy and 2 more.5 months for the hair to grow back to a short cut. The lack of hair on the head does not mean that you need to give up life, visiting guests, walking and any other pleasant leisure time outside the home.
To maintain optimism, chemotherapists strongly recommend leaving your four walls and delighting yourself as much as possible. Such filling with positive emotions and switching the focus of attention from illness to continuing life have a positive effect on the result of treatment.
What else can you do?
Try the new skins.To feel beautiful without hair, you can use wigs, hats, scarves, turbans. Try new looks and styles. You can focus on bright makeup, highlight eyebrows, eyes. It is important to experiment and find an image that is new and to your liking. For example, before the treatment I did not pay attention to my everyday makeup, for many years it was the same, but during the treatment I had to experiment, renew my style, give myself and my appearance maximum attention.
Foto: PantherMedia / Scanpix
Choose a new style of dressing .If the size of the clothes has changed during the treatment, it is advisable to show attention and love to yourself in this matter. There is no need to wait until the end of treatment and weight loss. If the reflection in the mirror pleases you, you will have more emotional strength for treatment.
Moisturize your skin. For skin that will be affected by chemotherapy drugs, it is also important to choose the right gentle moisturizing care.
Provide yourself with physical comfort. Any prostheses and wigs must be selected with special care in order to reduce possible physical discomfort when wearing them, if you don’t feel them on yourself, then you won’t focus on their presence.
Allow yourself to be emotional. Any emotions arising in the course of treatment have a right to exist, you do not need to overcome them, but give yourself the right to be sad, angry at the circumstances, grieve about something irrevocable. It is easier to throw out the accumulated emotions and go further than to spend energy on restraining yourself or on the prohibition to show negative feelings. Cancer treatment is a difficult process, at the end of the treatment you will become stronger and wiser. You will change internally and externally, as during the illness you will get used to giving yourself a lot of attention and love.
Exercise. If doctors do not mind, engage in any pleasant physical activity, it reduces stress, gives a feeling of control over your body.
Communicate with other patients. It is advisable to find a suitable support group or patient community to share your difficulties or listen to the experience of going through and accepting a new self. In addition, in the company of people with similar difficulties and appearance, the feeling of loneliness and uniqueness of the problem will disappear.
New image – new life
Oddly enough, even after healing, in addition to joy, there is a feeling of sadness and despondency from one’s own appearance. The scale of changes in one’s own body is already clear, postoperative scars and scars are visible, and the hair has not yet grown back to a short haircut.
All these emotions are understandable, but the most important and important thing happened – you were cured, and a new life with a new appearance awaits you. The new appearance, perhaps, will be better than the previous one, I am very pleased with myself with the current and my new image.
Hair, eyelashes and eyebrows begin to grow with a vengeance. There is a unique chance to experiment with hair color, short haircuts, styling. As the hair grows back, there will be caution in trying bright and unusual looks.
Scars and scars with proper care become less noticeable over time, many tattooists offer beautiful, scar-covering tattoos. I also had the idea that I would tattoo myself with the words “I’m alive”, but my scar quickly became subtle.Many micropigmentation specialists offer to have a fake nipple removed for free.
Weight naturally returns to normal. If hormone therapy continues, many women adjust to the situation – they revise their diet and are more active in sports.