Hair Loss and the Causes
The exact cause of hair loss may not be fully understood, but it's usually related to one or more of the following factors:
- Family history (heredity)
- Hormonal changes
- Medical conditions
The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. It usually occurs gradually and in predictable patterns — a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning hair in women.
Heredity also affects the age at which you begin to lose hair, the rate of hair loss and the extent of baldness. Pattern baldness is most common in men and can begin as early as puberty. This type of hair loss may involve both hair thinning and miniaturization (hair becomes soft, fine and short).Hormonal changes and medical conditions
A variety of conditions can cause hair loss, including:
- Hormonal changes. Hormonal changes and imbalances can cause temporary hair loss. This could be due to pregnancy, childbirth or the onset of menopause. Hormone levels are also affected by the thyroid gland, so thyroid problems may cause hair loss.
- Patchy hair loss. This type of nonscarring hair loss is called alopecia areata (al-o-PEE-she-uh ar-e-A-tuh). It occurs when the body's immune system attacks hair follicles — causing sudden hair loss that leaves smooth, roundish bald patches on the skin.
- Scalp infections. Infections, such as ringworm, can invade the hair and skin of your scalp, leading to scaly patches and hair loss. Once infections are treated, hair generally grows back.
- Other skin disorders. Diseases that cause scarring alopecia may result in permanent loss at the scarred areas. These conditions include lichen planus, some types of lupus and sarcoidosis.
- Hair-pulling disorder. This condition, also called trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), causes people to have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, whether it's from the scalp, the eyebrows or other areas of the body.
Hair loss can be caused by drugs used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure and birth control. Intake of too much vitamin A may cause hair loss as well.Other causes of hair loss
Hair loss can also result from:
- Radiation therapy to the head. The hair may not grow back the same as it was before.
- A trigger event. Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary. Examples of trigger events include sudden or excessive weight loss, a high fever, surgery, or a death in the family.
- Certain hairstyles and treatments. Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, can cause traction alopecia. Hot oil hair treatments and permanents can cause inflammation of hair follicles that leads to hair loss. If scarring occurs, hair loss could be permanent.
A Global Burden
According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year and affecting countries at all levels of modernization.Good News About Breast Cancer Trends
In recent years, perhaps coinciding with the decline in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy after menopause, we have seen a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part to better due to screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improvingtreatment options.
This type of alopecia is often attributed to genetic predisposition and family history. Androgenic alopecia is seen in both men and women. The hair loss in men is often faster, earlier onset, and more extensive.
Doctors refer to common baldness as "androgenetic alopecia" or "androgenic alopecia," which implies that a combination of hormones and heredity (genetics) is needed to develop the condition. The exact cause of this pattern is unknown. (The male hormones involved are present in both men and women.)
Even men who never "go bald" thin out somewhat over the years. Unlike those with reversible telogen shedding, those with common male-pattern hair loss don't notice much hair coming out; they just see that it's not there anymore. Adolescent boys notice some receding near the temples as their hairlines change from the straight-across boys' pattern to the more "M-shaped" pattern of adult men. This normal development does not mean they are losing hair.
There are numerous ways to categorize hair loss. One must first examine the scalp to determine if the hair loss is due to the physical destruction and loss of hair follicles. If the scalp appears perfectly normal with plenty of empty hair follicles, this is called non-scarring hair loss. On the other hand, the follicles are permanently destroyed in scarring hair loss. Localized, small areas, large areas, or the whole scalp may be affected in scarring and non-scarring hair loss. Non-scarring hair loss can also be seen in situations where there is physical or chemical damage to the hair shaft resulting in breakage. Occasionally, it may be necessary to do a biopsy of the scalp to distinguish these conditions. Sometimes, a physician may pull a hair to examine the appearance of the hair shaft as well as the percentage of growing hairs (anagen phase).
pattern baldness or Androgenic Alopecia occurs in the typical balding pattern and occurs
as a result of changes in the hormone androgen.
Patterned Alopecia (DPA) & Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia (DUPA) Diffuse Patterned Alopecia (DPA) is an
androgenic type alopecia characterized by diffuse thinning in the front, top,
and vertex of the scalp in conjunction with a stable permanent zone. Diffuse
Unpatterned Alopecia (DUPA) is also androgenic, but lacks a stable permanent
pattern baldness (FPB) OR Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is a common from of balding in females.
FPB can occur in about 40% of menopausal women.
Telogen effluvium (TE) and chronic telogen effluvium (CTE) occurs as a result of dietary deficiencies, crash diets, high grade fevers, anemia, blood loss, hormonal imbalances and pregnancy etc. The word telogen is known as the resting phase of hair and effluvium means letting loose.Telogen effluvium [TE] is a form of non-scarring alopecia characterized by an acute and generalised loss of hair. In most cases, TE recovers spontaneously within 6 months however if the hair loss persists for more than 6 months, it is known as chronic telogen effluvium [CTE.], which is more difficult to treat and may lead to permanent hair loss.
Tricotilomania hair loss is as a result of compulsive or repetitive self-pulling by the patient themselves.
Alopecia is as a result
of hair styles that tie or pull the hair so tightly that the hair roots are
pulled from the scalp.
Hair loss due to side effect of the beauty treatments Beauty treatments such as hair dyes, bleaching, straightening, softening, rebounding, perming etc., contain harsh chemicals which may trigger hair loss in some individuals.
Cancer begins in the cells which are the basic building blocks that make up tissue. Tissue is found in the breast and other parts of the body. Sometimes, the process of cell growth goes wrong and new cells form when the body doesn’t need them and old or damaged cells do not die as they should. When this occurs, a build up of cells often forms a mass of tissue called a lump, growth, or tumor.
Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors develop in the breast. These cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor and entering blood vessels or lymph vessels, which branch into tissues throughout the body. When cancer cells travel to other parts of the body and begin damaging other tissues and organs, the process is called metastasis.
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
- Each year it is estimated that over 230,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
- Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,350 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 440 will die each year.
- Over 2.9 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.
When you’re told that you have breast cancer, it’s natural to wonder what may have caused the disease. But no one knows the exact causes of breast cancer. Doctors seldom know why one woman develops breast cancer and another doesn’t, and most women who have breast cancer will never be able to pinpoint an exact cause. What we do know is that breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cell's DNA.