Wigs and scarves for cancer patients Terri McKenna is an oncology nurse who gets to know her patients at a very intense time in their lives. McKenna collects donated wigs to loan out to the patients when they lose their hair, all of which have been washed and styled. The patients who are loaned wigs are not expected to return them, however many do. Some cancer patients, especially younger ones, do not mind using scarves and hats throughout their treatment.

Depending on the type, dose and frequency, chemotherapy can cause a variance in hair loss from patient to patient. With the chemotherapy drugs used in the past, hair loss was almost always guaranteed, today the drugs used are much more varied. In McKenna’s two decades as an oncology nurse, she has seen chemotherapy refused by patients because it would cause them to lose their hair.

Chemotherapy targets the fast-growing cancer cells in the body, it also attacks other fast growing cells, such as those in hair roots. Hair loss usually starts one to three weeks after chemotherapy treatment begins and is not always only hair on the scalp. Men and women may lose eyelashes, eyebrows, armpit and pubic hair as well. Experts say hair loss is not usually noticeable until about half of it is already gone.
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Thankfully, chemotherapy hair loss is only temporary most of the time. Hair will begin to regrow within 3 to 10 months after treatment is over; however, it may return with a different texture or color.

Terri McKenna is always accepting donations of new and used wigs. For more details feel free to contact her at (440) 205-5762

Wigs can be sent to her at:
LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center
9485 Mentor Ave, Suite 3
Mentor, OH 44060

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