According to the American Cancer Society, doctors in the United States diagnosis approximately 300,000 new cases of breast cancer each year. The majority of those patients, most of whom are women, will go on to receive Taxotere (docetaxel) as part of their chemotherapy treatment. However, the drug is controversial, having been linked to permanent hair loss (alopecia) in up to 15 percent of patients.
Taxotere and Permanent Hair Loss
Taxotere is manufactured by French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of breast, head and neck, metastatic prostate, and advanced stomach cancers. A plant-derived alkaloid chemotherapy treatment, Taxotere works by attacking the supporting structures of abnormal cells in cancerous tumors, halting their growth and replication. However, while fighting cancer cells, Taxotere can damage other cells and hair follicles in the process—sometimes irreparably.
While it's true that most, if not all, chemotherapy drugs can potentially cause temporary hair loss, permanent alopecia is a side effect that's exclusive to Taxotere—and it can be devastating for cancer survivors who are eager for their lives to return to normal. Not only can unexpected permanent baldness negatively affect their self-esteem, but it often also serves as a painful daily reminder of their illness and brush with death.
More than 1,100 former Taxotere patients have filed product liability personal injury lawsuits against Sanofi-Aventis for failing to inform doctors and patients of the risk for permanent hair loss. Many say that had they been warned about the risk of permanent hair loss, they would have opted for Taxol, a comparable chemotherapy drug with no known links to long-term alopecia.
Do You Suffer From Permanent Taxotere Hair Loss?
If your hair failed to grow back months or even years after completing chemotherapy treatment that included Taxotere, you may be eligible to seek compensation from the drug's manufacturer for damages, including medical bills and pain and suffering. Contact Holton Law Firm today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your Taxotere hair loss case.