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Topic: Letrozole and Hair

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During, and After —

Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others.

Posted on: Jan 19, 2020 04:27AM

B-A-P wrote:

This may be a beaten to death topic, but has anyone found a way to lessen the hair loss ?

I'm 32, and after a year post chemo, my hair is finally at a length where it can be somewhat styled, and I feel like Look like myself. I know that this can be a side effect of letrozole ( and menopause), I have been on it since August 2019 and only noticing hair issues now.

Lately if I put my hand through my hair, strands are coming out at the roots, and there's a few on my pillow each morning. It's a bit distressing and triggering for me. I think with chemo, we know its gonna fall out, and all of it will, but with an AI it's kinda up in the air as to how much and for how long. Will I get it so bad that I need a topper or wig again ? Or will I be able to hide it? Ugh I feel like its coming out right at the top because my scalp is tender like it was on Chemo.

Anyway, Just wanted to see what others experiences with this were ( How long did it fall out for, was it a lot ? ), and any tried and true methods to slow it down ?

Thanks!

Dx 8/17/2018, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 9/18/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil) Surgery 2/26/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 4/29/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Jan 19, 2020 07:53AM Rambros wrote:

I don’t have a great solution but I use Rogaine. It stopped the shedding completely for almost a year but now sheds again (I still use it though). I’ve been on letrozole for 4 years and shedding started about 2 years in. Not sure if this is partly due to letrozole and partly menopause related? Before I lost my hair to chemo I was 36 and pre-menopausal so I think some thinning of hair after menopause is expected. It sucks though but no one seems to notice but me. Hope someone posts to say that the thinning stops eventually! Take car

Dx 10/8/2014, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 11/17/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jan 19, 2020 10:45AM B-A-P wrote:

Yes I think It's related to both. Had my ovaries out in July, so I think the combo of menopause and letrozole is finally taking its toll. I know it could be worse, and it's all a means to an end, but it was very triggering. I remember the first time I put my hand through my hair a few weeks after my chemo, and it ws undeniable. I few days later I was completely bald. I know it won't all go away, but I just started to feel like myself again and to feel like that's going to change again, sucks a bit ! :)

Dx 8/17/2018, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 9/18/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil) Surgery 2/26/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 4/29/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Jan 19, 2020 12:00PM vfp wrote:

Well-ll-ll, I thought I had prepared myself for this, I found out a couple weeks ago, that maybe I'm not so prepared. When I ran my hand through my hair a couple weeks ago, I saw about a half dozen hairs on my fingers. I blamed it on the dryness from the heat in the house. I can't use that as an excuse anymore.

I wash my hair every four days using baby shampoo, and instead of scrubbing my scalp with my fingers, I just pat my head LOL.

I think I will try the Rogaine.

Dx 11/8/2019, Both breasts, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 2, ER+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Jan 19, 2020 12:29PM stephincanada wrote:

If you do try Rogaine, I have found that the Costco brand (Kirkland minoxidil) works best. I *think* Foam works better than serum, but am not certain. Kirkland is better than brand name, IMO. And it’s a fraction of the price.

Dx 5/26/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 6/7/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 7/7/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 9/6/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/7/2016 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Radiation Therapy 11/29/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jan 19, 2020 12:50PM Hannah1962 wrote:

Thanks for posting this question, and thank you also to those who have replied. I started Letrozole in late March last year and recently started noticing my hair coming out (on the pillow, in comb/hairbrush). I too wondered how far it will progress. I wonder why it takes a while before the hair loss begins. I've been in menopause for 5 years, so was already post-menopausal before diagnosis of the BC. I was diagnosed in late 2018.

Dx 12/7/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2020 03:55PM B-A-P wrote:

Hannah1962 ,

From what I understand, it's that when you're in Menopause, I don't think Estrogen is at a Zero, but low enough to have your typical experience If you wanna call it that . So perhaps because you had some estrogen floating around, your hair kept at that point. Some women have thinning when menopause hits and some don't so I suppose It really depends on the person and their levels. Hair and estrogen are linked which is why hair grows and gets thicker when pregnant , and then falls out after baby comes ( big drop in estrogen). Add in an AI with already low levels of estrogen from menopause, and that's a perfect formula for hair thinning.


Sigh . I'm only 32 so I'd like to not also have to deal with this ontop of everything else. Hopefully it stabilizes soon. I'm not a huge fan of Rogaine, and the only way it keeps working, is if you continually use it.

Trying to look for some more natural remedies . :)

Dx 8/17/2018, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 9/18/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil) Surgery 2/26/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 4/29/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Jan 19, 2020 04:02PM Rambros wrote:

I agree that the foam version of Rogaine (or generic version) is better than liquid/serum version. You only need to use it at night (versus twice a day) and it’s not that messy. I aim for 6 nights a week. I also try washing my hair every other day vs daily since I seem to lose hair when I comb it wet. I’ve never heard or read of anyone going completely bald from letrozole (or any AI) so that’s good. My mom and grandmother are both on different AI’s and neither have any bald spots or anything that looksconcerning. I’ve complained to doctors about hair shedding and they just kinda say ‘at least that must mean you don’t have much estrogen’ which I guess is true.

Dx 10/8/2014, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 11/17/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jan 20, 2020 04:37AM Ingerp wrote:

Okay this is based on nothing other than having spent a lot of time on BCO the last several years but I’ve read about more hair issues with Letrozole than Anastrozole. I wonder if you’d consider switching? Also, I started taking Biotin before my dx and am still taking it. And I’ve read about a lot of women who have hair issues on an AI but they had thin hair before BC, or their mothers did in menopause so they were expecting it anyway. I do think genetics can be involved.

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/22/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/19/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/17/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 5/17/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 5/17/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 8/19/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Jan 20, 2020 05:01AM Spookiesmom wrote:

My hair never came back completely after total loss. But I had some. 4 years, aramidex, about 7 months on tamoxifen, still not bad.

Letrozole is taking what little I have now. I expect to loose it all. My brows and lashes are about gone. Haven’t shaved legs in weeks. Nothing there.

I saw this article and thought I’d try it. Can’t hurt, may help.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Jan 29, 2020 05:14AM kale437 wrote:

I noticed thinning hair too and my eyebrows are so itchy and thinning

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Jan 29, 2020 05:39AM - edited Jan 29, 2020 05:39AM by ShetlandPony

There is a product called Toppik you can use on thin spots.You shake the fibers onto your head and they fill in the thin areas. You can get it at beauty supply stores.

2011 Stage I ILC 1.5cm grade1 ITCs sn Lumpectomy,radiation,tamoxifen. 2014 Stage IV ILC mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD
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Jul 20, 2020 08:36AM Annie60 wrote:

I had thinning hair before cancer, it runs in my family thanks to under active thyroids. I do think the letrozole has made it worse. I talked to my hair dresser and she used a product called Magic Root Cover Up my L'Oreal. It made my hair look so full. I don't use it eveyday - I'm retired and don't go out much right now. But it is amazing how full my hair looks when I spray the roots. It last a couple of days - through several shampoos. It's a temporary fix but it made me feel better about myself.

Dx 8/28/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 8/28/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (DUAL) Radiation Therapy 5/29/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2019 Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Aug 17, 2020 05:23AM Jcann212 wrote:

I’ve been on Letrozole since the end of April and, here it is, 4 months later I’m noticing hair loss. I have a thick head of hair and noticed that I’m losing an excessive amount ofhair in the shower, when I brush/comb it, and when I run my fingers through it. Since it’s summer, I’ve been letting my hair air dry instead of using a blow dryer. I was post-menopausal at the time of my surgery in March. I’m glad I found this post and will speak with the medical oncologist at my follow-up in October. I also switched the timing of taking the pill because I noticed that when I took the pill before bed, I had severe hot flashes during the night. Now I take the pill in the morning and noticed that the hot flashes are a little more manageable.

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