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Side Effects Prevention

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Fertility Preservation

Recent advances in cancer treatment have highlighted the fact that the majority of children, adolescents, and young adults diagnosed with cancer today will become long-term survivors, who will transition through childbearing middle age and old age. This is also true of patients with many other types of cancers that are diagnosed early and undergo successful, less toxic treatments.

Not all cancer treatments threaten fertility however, some medications do and hence the issue of the ability to have biologically related children in the future becomes an important factor to consider before beginning treatment.

Besides scientific and technological advances in medicine, recent developments of the legal framework in the European Union and Greece now enable patients to plan for the preservation of their fertility prior to start of cancer treatment.

At Contemporary Oncology, our specialists will highlight the different options available for men and women in each individual case and support the decision making process of the patient. These procedures are conducted in specialist centers, and patients are encouraged to conduct their own research about the track record and costs of these centers.

Hair Loss Prevention

Some, though not all, chemotherapy drugs affect hair cells. This can lead to thinning of the hair or total hair loss, depending on treatment regimen. Hair loss usually occurs 2 to 3 weeks after patient’s first dose of chemotherapy. Hair loss on the head is most noticeable, but any body hair growth may be affected or slowed. Hair loss is expected to be temporary, with hair regrowth after the end chemotherapy treatment. Hair generally regrows as it was before, though it sometimes may be of a slightly different texture once it regrows.

The use of cooling caps has proven to be effective is some cases depending on the chemo drugs used and the duration of the therapy. These cold caps tighten up or constrict blood vessels in the scalp. This constriction is thought to reduce the amount of chemotherapy drug that reaches the cells of the hair follicles. The cold also decreases the activity of the hair follicles and makes them less attractive to chemotherapy, which targets rapidly dividing cells.