Would I Trade My Alopecia For Risk Of Cancer?

My alopecia ophiasis has progressed to alopecia universalis. I’ve lost most of the hair on my head and all of the hair on the rest of my body, including my eyebrows and eyelashes. My eyebrows were the last to go, and let me tell you, I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself this past week.

It’s so weird to look at myself in the mirror with no eyebrows. I’ve never been one to wear makeup, so I do the best I can to draw my eyebrows on, but most of the time it just looks unnatural and weird to me.

In other words, whether I have no eyebrows or drawn-on eyebrows, I look weird to myself.

And eyelashes seem to be a lost cause for me. I’m no good at putting on false eyelashes, and when I do manage to get one in place, it looks too high up and really unnatural.

In short, I’ve been wishing I didn’t have alopecia lately.

Would I Grow My Hair Back With The Risk Of Cancer?

I’m part of a few alopecia groups in various places, and this question gave me an aha moment that has changed the viewpoint of my alopecia and helped me to feel better.

I love when shifts happen like that.

The following comment was posted in one of the Facebook alopecia groups I’m in. I’ve blacked out some of the personal information that would probably identify this person.

Alopecia Questions

If for some reason, you can’t see the question, the poster is asking what people think about her nephew, who has alopecia universalis, taking a trial drug that could cause cancer but is guaranteed to grow his hair back. She mentions that his self-esteem is very low now without the hair.

This question hit me hard.

Before reading this question, I wanted my hair to grow back so much, and I still do.

At the risk of cancer, would I take a drug that was guaranteed to grow my hair back?


Risk and guarantee have two very different meanings, but still, I would not risk cancer for guaranteed hair growth.

In fact, I wouldn’t trade the risk of anything else in order to grow my hair back.

When it comes to health, alopecia is mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually draining at times, but it’s not the worst thing I could have. There are things that could be far morning draining or equally as draining, even if they are not as noticeable as my alopecia.

I think we all tend to struggle with what we have – what ails us – and see the grass greener on the other side. The problem is there is never greener grass when you are in a mode of complaining and always wanting something else to happen in your life.

For instance, I may think that having a small twitch in my eye occasionally – something that isn’t necessarily visible to other people – is the greener side, but when I’m there, I would likely see other things as the greener side because I’m still focused on what I don’t want and wishing things were different.

The lesson in all this is to accept alopecia for what it is. There are many other people who likely view alopecia as their greener side, and I totally get that.

I want to grow my hair back, but I don’t want to trade that hair growth for any other ailment. I’m thankful that alopecia doesn’t lead to other diseases.

I’ll keep the alopecia and stop wishing things were different, and hopefully my hair will grow back while I do that.

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