Hair disorders in cancer survivors

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 May;80(5):1199-1213. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2018.03.056. Epub 2018 Apr 14.


With increasing survival rates across all cancers, survivors represent a growing population that is frequently affected by persistent or permanent hair growth disorders as a result of systemic therapies, radiotherapy, surgical procedures, and therapeutic transplants. These hair disorders include persistent chemotherapy-induced alopecia, persistent radiotherapy-induced alopecia, endocrine therapy-induced alopecia and hirsutism, postsurgery alopecia and localized hypertrichosis, and persistent stem cell transplantation and targeted therapy-induced alopecia. The information contained in this continuing medical education series should facilitate a better understanding on hair disorders in cancer survivors so that adequate support and therapies may be provided.

Keywords: alopecia; cancer survivors; cancer therapy; endocrine therapy; hirsutism; hypertrichosis; persistent alopecia; persistent chemotherapy-induced alopecia; persistent radiotherapy-induced alopecia; quality of life; therapeutic transplants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Alopecia / pathology
  • Alopecia / therapy
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Cancer Survivors* / psychology
  • Hair Diseases / etiology*
  • Hair Diseases / therapy*
  • Hirsutism / chemically induced
  • Hirsutism / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertrichosis / etiology
  • Hypertrichosis / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents