Does radiation therapy make your hair fall out?

Yes, In area treated. Hair follicles are growing cells. When the hair is radiated the follicle cell stop growing and the hair shaft falls out. Same thing with some chemotherapy drugs. Chemo goes all over so if that type of chemo affects hair then all your hair everywhere falls out. In radiation its the hair that is in the area treated. So for breast cancer for example the arm pit hair on that side will fall out.
Yes, in treated area. Radiation will make hair fall out in the treated area. Depending on the dose, local hairloss can be temporary or permanent.

Related Questions

Will my hair fall out during radiation therapy?

In area treated. You will lose hair only in the area that is being directly treated.
Depends. If the radiation therapy is treating any part of the body covered with hair, there is a possibility that you can lose the hair in that region. Your radiation oncologist will be able to inform you of your risks of hair loss.
Depends. The cost will likely depend on the complexity of the treatment, technologies used, and number of treatments in the course. Every insurance provider and plan has different rates at which they reimburse, so that adds another variable. Medicare typically sets the national rates, but this can vary significantly depending on insurances, plans and region of the country.
Typically, no. Radiation oncologists are aware of the potential risks of irradiating any part of the body, based on published studies of toxicities. We are trained on all the various factors that can make a treatment more or less risky. We take that into account for every case we consider treating.
Comfortable clothing. It really depends on the part of the body that is being treated. Our therapists (the staff who treat you on a daily basis) will need to see the skin overlying the area treated, as they use skin markings or tattoos in those spots to help in daily alignment. In general, we don't undress the areas that are not close to the site we are treating.
Follow up after treatment. Generally, we use a physical exam, imaging studies and certain blood tests (depending on the cancer) to determine if the treatment has been effective. The specific assessments will vary for each person, based on their cancer type, stage and timeframe during and after the treatment course.
On the affected area. If you are referring hair here as hair on your head- then the answer is no- unless you have your radiation done to your head then you will have some hair loss. The hair loss happens only on the area that is affected by the radiation therapy. So, if you have radiation to the breast area- your hair on your head will not fall out..
This varies on the individual and treatment. The 2 most common symptoms are skin redness and fatigue. Fatigue can develop during treatment and last for a few weeks to a few months after completion. Skin redness on the breast or chest wall (radiation dermatitis) is also common, and usually develops 3-4 weeks after starting radiation therapy. This will resolve within a few weeks to a couple of months after treatment.

Do people typically loose their head hair when treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or both. How long is hair loss for?

Yes. Any rapidly growing cells get the brunst from Chemo or radiation therapy. Cancer cells are Rapidly growing celles too you know. They return after the therapy is completed.
Chemotherapy. Yes. However, you have previously stated that your tumor was not cancerous. Why would you need this kind of treatment. Chemo and XRT target cells with high replication and turnover such as malignant cells as well as hair. Once treatment is discontinued and body has recovered, there is regrowth of the hair but may be reduced in density and quality.

Will my facial hair grow back after radiation therapy?

Depends on dose/type. Depending on what disease is being treated, radiation is given in between 2 weeks to 7 weeks in standard fractionations. Near 7 weeks of radiation we expect no further hair growth. About 2-4 weeks, we can expect recovery of hair growth. I am assuming you are talking about x-ray/therapeutic radiation for cancer. There are other types of radiation that the above answer may or may not hold true.
Possibly. Assuming you lost the hair from treatment for a cancer in the oral cavity or pharynx, it would depend on the technique. These days most radiation doctors use imrt for head and neck cancers. This distributes the radiation widely and therefore less dose directly to the skin versus older methods. Often in this case the hair will grow back but sometimes more sparsely.
Depends. Do you want it to? This is dose dependent and time dependent to some extent. If you had lymphoma treatment, it is likely. High doees head and neck treatment, probably not.

What is it in radiation therapy that makes a person lose their hair?

Cellular division. Radiation stops the rapid division of cancer cells but also shuts down the growth of hair follicles, and sweat glands, and the cells that make up the lining of the gut.

How long does it take to start growing hair back after radiation therapy?

Varies. It varies depending on the location of the radiation and other therapies; usually have noticed hair recovery in about 2-3 months after completion of therapy unless there has been permanent damage to hair follicles with radiation on scalp;.
Weeks, Months. Some patients have hair regrowth in a few weeks to months. Others, depending on the area treated may never have hair regrowth.

How long will it take for hair to grow back after receiving radiation therapy on the head?

Yes. Radiation or chemotherapy drugs are toxic to cells that are rapidly dividing. This means they specifically target cancer cells, but they also kill healthy cells that grow quickly. This includes hair cells (causing baldness/alopecia) and stomach cells (causing nausea or mucositis). Once the chemo or radiation is stopped, the side effects go away and hair should grow back.
Depends on the dose. The scalp hair follicles generally regrow hair if the dose they received was less than 45 gy. Your radiation oncologist can determine the actual dose delivered to the scalp by reviewing the plan. If the hair is going to grow back, it usually starts within a few weeks to a couple of months after treatment.

Is it normal for my head to swell after radiation therapy?

No. Not normal for the head to swell, but if you are getting radiation to your brain, there can be some swellling in the brain that is typically treated with steroids.
No. However if your head is noticeably swollen in your face and neck, the doctor needs to evaluate you for superior vena cava syndrome in which the cancer in the chest obstructed the flow out of the neck and head. This can happen even when getting radiation to the chest for lung cancer despite being the treatment for the syndrome as well. Another possibility would be developing venous thrombosis.

What are the goals of nutrition during radiation therapy for the head and neck?

Diet with radiation. Because radiation therapy to head and neck often has a profound effect on the ability to ear, loss of appetite, nausea and subsequent weight loss, the patient must be treated to prevent mal-nutrition. Often a stomach tube is inserted so a nutritious diet can be given during the radiation therapy period.
Anabolic state. Goal is to keep the body in a healthy maintenance state. Not loosing weight is important. Helps immune system stay strong and not alter anatomy important in radiation treatment accuracy.