Taxotere - You Shouldn't Have to Choose Between Your Life or Your Hair

On a recent posting that we had on Facebook, we shared that breast cancer patients may experience permanent alopecia (hair loss) after taking the chemotherapy medication Taxotere (docetaxel). We received a few comments that stated that, “I’d rather have my life than my hair,” “I took Taxotere and am grateful that I no longer have cancer,” and “I prefer my wigs. They make life so much easier.” To these women who responded, we are so glad that you’ve conquered cancer. However, the crux of the issue is that Taxotere has the potential to cause permanent alopecia, an adverse effect that other chemotherapy options DON’T have. Sanofi-Aventis, the makers of Taxotere, has known about this risk for years and yet has failed to warn patients about this outcome. We believe that patients deserve to be equipped with the facts in order to make the right decision for their circumstances.

Taxotere - You Shouldn't Have to Choose Between Your Life or Your Hair

Taxotere and Permanent Alopecia

While the decision between having the fatal disease of breast cancer versus a life without hair is obvious, the problem is that those are not the only two available choices. The side effect of temporary hair loss is common in the comparable chemotherapy drug Taxol,  but it doesn’t have the potential to cause permanent alopecia like Taxotere does. The synthetic drug Taxotere requires fewer treatments but has the potential for permanent patchy hair growth or even complete baldness. Taxol is natural and doesn’t pose this risk: which drug would you rather try? Don’t you think that you should have the right to make this choice for yourself?The bottomline is that you should have been informed to make the correct decision for you. Every woman is unique and should have the opportunity to choose which option would be best in her circumstances. However, by not sharing this risk and by only sharing the benefits, Sanofi-Aventis misled millions of patients.According to oncologist Hugues Bourgeois, he gives his patients a choice: They can either undergo 12 cycles of Taxol or four cycles of Taxotere. In his experience, most patients choose to take Taxol to avoid the risk of permanent hair loss - which he says works just as well on breast cancer and also happens to cost less. "Some women look bad, they look ill, they look like they are fighting cancer [when they have permanent alopecia]," said Dr. Bourgeois. "It has an important impact on quality of life… patients have to be informed of the risks."

What Can You Do If You Experienced Permanent Alopecia After Taking Taxotere?

If you took Taxotere and have permanent hair loss, you may be able to make a claim against Sanofi-Aventis. Of course you’re grateful that Taxotere helped you to battle cancer, but you also should have been told that your hair may never grow back and there was another safer option available. If you took Taxotere or docetaxel for breast cancer that is now in remission and have patchy, thin or no hair, you may be able to receive financial compensation. Call Periscope Group today!

“Women who took chemo drug say they weren't warned of permanent hair loss”. The Globe and Mail. Accessed July 13, 2018.

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