It's not common, but some breast cancer patients may refuse chemotherapy to save their hair.
If they discover they have a minimal chance of long-term survival, they may refuse additional treatment.
If they feel they will lose their hair, which is precious to them, or suffer from horrible side effects, they may decline treatment.
Some cancer sufferers may feel their hair and quality of life is more important.
Especially if doing chemo or radiation will not prolong their lives.
Not all chemotherapy for all types of cancers will result in hair loss,.
Breast cancer chemotherapy drugs have a high probability of triggering hair androgenic hair loss.
While chemo-related hair loss may only be temporary, there are other considerations.
If a patient feels they have a high chance of imminent death, they may decide they wish to skip chemo and radiation.
That way, they will hold onto the hair and body they cherish since impending death is guaranteed.
British singer, model, and actress Sarah Nicole Harding (née Hardman; 17 November 1981 – 5 September 2021) is a good example of a woman consciously refusing more treatment.
Sarah's career began in 2002. Her fame exploded when she became part of the beloved UK girl group Girls Aloud.
In August 2020, Harding announced she had been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.
In March 2021, she announced that her condition was terminal. She died on September 4, 2021, at the age of 39, just two months shy of her 40th birthday.
In an excerpt from her book "Hear Me Out" by Sarah Harding, which appeared in The Mirror on March 13, 2021, she explained why she declined additional radiotherapy on her skill for a secondary tumor to keep her hair.
The singer explained she knew she only had 'months' left. to live Sarah knew her cancer was advanced. She "didn't want to spend the limited time she had left without hair. I don’t want to feel like I have to spend whatever time I have left hiding away."
While Sarah said some might think she is being 'vain,' she doesn't think losing her hair is worth it. Especially when it wouldn't make a big difference to her prospects.
Too unwell to have reconstruction surgery, Sarah wrote: "The loss of my breast breaks my heart."
Her treatment has already seen Sarah have a breast removed.
She said the painful surgery left her unable to look in the mirror, feeling like part of her womanhood had gone, and made it 'very hard to wake up every morning.'
She'd been traumatized by the loss of a breast, and it didn't stop the disease. As a result, she made the difficult decision not to have more treatments.
Sarah has just 'months' left after doctors found the new tumor, which she says is located at the base of her spine and possibly in her brain.
Luckily in 2022, there have been many advances made in the war against cancer.
New treatments, drugs, and therapies are making huge gains in the war against cancer.
Cooling Caps have come a long way in helping cancer patients, especially those with breast cancer, prevent hair loss during chemo.
Even still, some women are declining chemotherapy, radiation, or any related treatments rather than losing their hair if their survival rate is not guaranteed. Hair is a very precious attribute to many women.
They would rather keep it than lose it, if they knew their life will end soon.Best wishes to you.
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