Lung cancer and mesothelioma patients face a tough battle ahead of them, and if you have a loved one who has been recently diagnosed with one of these diseases, you probably feel compelled to help them live as normal a life as possible. You can do this by occasionally cooking for them, cleaning around their house or even just sitting down with them for a chat.
One other aspect of cancer treatment that patients may have tough time with is alopecia, or hair loss. You may not be able to do much to help your loved one with this specific problem, but you certainly can consider donating your hair to other cancer patients!
Cancer treatments are to blame for hair loss
Chemotherapy is one of the most powerful weapons against cancer. These drugs kill abnormal cells in the body that grow rapidly. Unfortunately, they may also impact the healthy cells, including the ones in your loved one’s skin that create hair. When this happens, hair may fall off his or her head or other places on the body. Radiation may also have this effect on areas where it is applied.
Hair loss is a symbol of the battle that your loved one is fighting. It is nothing to be embarrassed about, nor should individuals feel ashamed for wishing that their hair would not fall out in the first place.
According to the National Cancer Institute, different patients will have different ways of handling hair loss. Some may cut their hair shorter, while others resort to shaving their heads entirely. In any case, if the hair this out, it may be best to use mild shampoos.
Sometimes, a wig or hairpiece is the answer to feeling and looking better. Often, the most quality products are made using human hair.
‘A little bit nervous, but excited’
At Mesothelioma Circle, we love reading stories about people who go the extra mile to honor the cancer patients in their lives. For example, the Pontefract and Castleford Express in the UK recently published a story about Niamh Fearnley, a 16-year-old girl who asked for sponsorship to cut her hair on March 17. Not only will she give the funds to Cancer Research UK, but she will also donate the hair for a wig that will go to a cancer-stricken child.
“It’s going to be about an inch long all over, I’m a little bit nervous, but excited. My family’s really proud of me and are supporting me,” Fearnley told the publication.
This fundraising effort is Fearnley’s way of honoring the memory of her grandfather, who died from lung cancer in 2004.
Organizations in the U.S. need help
If you feel moved to donate your hair, the American Cancer Society lists several organizations that will accept.
Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation. They collect healthy hair in order to fashion wigs for women who have alopecia that is caused by cancer treatment.
Wigs for Kids provides products for children who have short-term hair loss from medical causes. Their items are available to those who have a particular financial need.
Another organization that makes wigs for children is Locks of Love, which, unlike Wigs for Kids, mainly addresses a form of long-term hair loss known as alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. Like Wigs for Kids, Locks of Love serves those who may be financially disadvantaged.