A breast cancer diagnosis is a life-changing moment with many things to consider, from treatments to support. One of the challenges faced by most women is how to tell their family and friends. In particular, the hair loss from cancer can be a difficult topic to discuss, especially with children.
Choose the Moment
When you get a breast cancer diagnosis, you’ll need time to gather your thoughts before telling others. A good time to tell children is when you have the facts and are just about to start treatment, but do explain in good time, as children will find sudden changes frightening. It is important to be open and honest, as kids have a way of finding out things online and through friends. Talking about hair loss in stages is helpful so children have time to absorb the information.
A good explanation around hair loss is to explain that the cancer treatment affects fast-growing cells in the breast, and since hair cells grow quickly, they are also affected. Explaining that the chemotherapy is strong medicine and will help make you better is another positive message to children.
Share the Experience
Losing hair is traumatic for children to see. Even preschoolers will notice something is wrong. Explain that your hair will most likely fall out around one to two weeks after starting the treatment for breast cancer. Don’t forget to explain that after the treatment, your hair will grow back. Kids also need time to think things through, so be open and encourage questioning with prompts such as, “Have you been thinking about my breast cancer? Do you want to ask questions about it?”
Get Them Involved
By getting your children involved in decisions, you will help them take control of a traumatic situation. Get them involved in choices around scarves, wigs or hats. For example, you could have a funny hat day where all the family wears an unusual hat or gets matching hats to wear.
Another way they can get involved is in the choice about whether to shave off all your hair or let it fall out. They may also like to help you pick a wig and get it styled. By explaining hair loss to children in an open and honest way and getting them involved, they will feel more in control and positive about your breast cancer journey.
At Van Scoy Hair Clinics we care and we can help. We offer beautiful chemotherapy and alopecia wigs for those experiencing medically related hair loss. Our custom hair replacements for men, women, and children are uniquely different from the standard wigs readily available in department stores or mail order catalogs. To schedule a free consultation call us today at (419) 289-6665 or to contact us via email click here.