Dr. Song explains the difference between chemotherapy and radiation therapy and explains if a woman will likely lose her hair when she undergoes breast cancer radiation therapy.
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Chemotherapy vs. Radiation Therapy Well chemotherapy is essentially treatment with medication. Aspirin – when you think about it is really chemotherapy. So chemo can be delivered or medications can be delivered either orally or through intravenously, and most people seem to equate chemotherapy with intravenous drug delivery. They also seem to equate it with hair loss and nausea and vomiting as such. I would add that a lot of the medications that they have now are really designed to reduce those side effects, inevitably hair loss is still going to happen with certain types of drugs no matter what you do, but as far as the nausea and all these other associated side effects, they have been very successful in reducing that. So that’s chemotherapy. Radiation is using either X-rays or radioactive isotopes. So some form of radiation directly targeted at the tumor site. The effects of the radiation therapy are really focused to where we aim the beam. So in terms of hair loss the only time women would lose any type of hair directly as a result of the radiation maybe the hair in the armpit area, but with regard to the head and hair elsewhere there will be no hair loss whatsoever with our treatments.
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