The Perception of Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia in Cancer Patients Currently Undergoing Treatment

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Margit Juhasz
Jamie Fortman
Jessica Lin
Yessica Landaverde
Joshua Levy
Christine Pham
Nicole Myers
Chloe Ekelem
Ritesh Parajuli
Lari Wenzel
Natasha Atanaskova Mesinkovska


chemotherapy-induced alopecia, chemotherapy, hair loss, quality of life, prevention, cost-effectiveness


Background: Chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) is a common adverse effect of chemotherapy. 8% of patients consider declining chemotherapy due to CIA risk.

Objective: To determin whether cancer patients who are actively receiving chemotherapy are interested in preventing or treating CJA.

Materials and Methods: This is a survey-based, cross-sectional study of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy infusion at a tertiary medical center. Data including demographics, cancer diagnosis, medical literacy, quality of life, hair quality satisfaction, and costs patients were willing to accrue for CIA prevention/treatment were gathered.

Results: Sixty-two adults were enrolled, mostly 55 to 64 years of age, female (72.6%), and White (63.8%). Many patients were diagnosed with malignancies associated with a high rate of morbidity-mortality including ovarian, lung and pancreatic. In our cohort, all patients would not decline cancer treatment based on CIA risk. 94.6% of patients were unwilling to risk cancer recurrence, 80.9% additional side effects, 55.8% extra time outside of infusion and 47.9% to pay out-of-pocket for CIA prevention/treatment.

Conclusions: Patients with high cancer disease burden will not decline current treatment due to CIA risk. In addition, they are not willing to sustain additional discomfort, cost or time to prevent or treat CIA.