Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers amongst women, and according to the American Cancer Society as many as one in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of their life. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 there will be 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer. Fortunately, modern medicine and advanced surgical techniques help hundreds of thousands of these women beat breast cancer.
A widely used medication in the fight against breast cancer is the powerful chemotherapy drug Taxotere. While this medication has been shown to be effective in treating breast cancer, it also comes with the risk of total and permanent hair loss. However, despite the effectiveness of this medication, it has been associated with total and permanent hair loss, which for many women is a constant and unwelcome reminder of their struggle.
Many women who lost their hair after taking Taxotere were not warned of this potential side effect. If you have suffered hair loss due to Taxotere usage, contact a distinguished personal injury attorney about your case. Speaking with an attorney can have a positive effect in the Taxotere hair loss side-effect hurting thousands of women.
What is Alopecia?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, alopecia areata is a disease that causes hair loss in an otherwise healthy individual. Alopecia can cause different types of hair loss including:
- Alopecia Areata – meaning hair loss that occurs in patches
- Alopecia Totalis – meaning loss of all hair on the scalp
- Alopecia Universalis – meaning total hair loss on the body
Alopecia is generally caused by an auto-immune response where the body begins to attack the cells that cause hair growth. Alopecia is, unfortunately, a common side effect of many cancer medications, which often work by targeting cancerous cells causing these cells to be unable to reproduce and spread throughout the body, unfortunately, this commonly has the side effect of causing patients to lose their hair.
While alopecia is not painful and generally does not threaten your health, this does not imply that alopecia does not have a significant impact on women.
Effects of Hair Loss on Women
Our hair is intrinsically important to us, and to women in particular. While alopecia is not generally associated with any physical pain and suffering, losing hair can cause severe psychological and emotional struggles. Studies have shown that hair loss can cause “a loss of self-confidence, low self-esteem, and heightened self-consciousness.”
Women who have undergone chemotherapy and have subsequently lost their hair report feelings of anxiety, distress, body image struggles, sexuality struggles, and decreases in self-esteem and social functioning. Unfortunately, hair loss amongst women can affect not only them, but their relationships and many women have reported problems in their personal, romantic, and professional relationships because of their hair loss.
Many women look forward to being able to go out in public after successfully undergoing chemotherapy without the need for a wig or scarf to cover their heads. However, for those women who have been prescribed the medication Taxotere, this may not be possible. This chemotherapy drug has been associated with total and permanent hair loss.
While some people may ask women to be grateful that they survived breast cancer, however, the problem for many women is that they were not warned of this potential side effect, and furtherfore their doctors were unaware of the potential for their patients to suffer permanent hair loss.
While the Food and Drug Administration mandated that Taxotere’s manufacturer include warnings of this side effect beginning in 2015, internal documents from the company indicate that they knew of potential side effects as early as 2005 and did not warn consumers or healthcare professionals.
While some may argue that this is a small price to pay for being cured of cancer, women who suffer daily with the negative effects of hair loss often are not comforted. This is particularly true for these women because many breast cancers can be treated with other chemotherapy regimens that do not include Taxotere and do not carry the risk of permanent hair loss.
Talk to a Taxotere Attorney Today
Taxotere hair loss side-effect hurting thousands of women does not go unseen. If you have permanent hair loss of alopecia after taking Taxotere, contact a Tennessee Taxotere injury lawyer to discuss your care. A Taxotere injury lawyer can help recover compensation for your pain and suffering.