MPIP: Melanoma Patients Information Page

The MPIP is the oldest and largest community of people affected by melanoma hosted through the Melanoma Research Foundation. It is designed to provide support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. Once you have been touched by melanoma—either as a patient or as a family member or friend of a patient—you become part of a community. It is not a community anyone joins willingly. But if you must be part of this group, you will find no better place to find the tools you need in your journey with this cancer, and the friends who can make that journey more bearable.

The information on the bulletin board is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.

Expand/ Collapse Topic
Replies By
View Topic
remjgg38's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 12/9/2011 - 9:36pm
Replies by: Janner, lhaley

I was diagnosed in 1984 with a stage IV melanoma on my back and had it excised.  Then again in 1991 another showed up and I had it excised.  There were no other occurrences until April 2011 when I noticed a lump in my left armpit.  I realize that this is an incredibly long time for melanoma to remain dormant but my doctor said that it has been known to do this.  They did a biopsy on it and it was a stage 4 melanoma so they did surgery and removed most of the lymph nodes in that area.  Pet scans have shown that there are other spots in this area now and my doctor wants to put me on Zelboraf.  Has anyone else had anything like this, and I am wondering about the effectiveness of this new drug.  Thanks.

All things are possible for those that believe.

Login or register to post replies.

Nicky's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 12/9/2011 - 9:18pm

Hi everyone, it is so good to be posting another anniversary.

The people on this board have inspired me for many years and I thank everyone so much for the posts that have been an amazing support, mpip is a great community 

It has been my mission to raise awareness for melanoma through tv and radio supporting cancer research and my local hospital. I know that some of my friends here, neighbours, family and colleagues who have lost their battle with this disease no longer have a voice but I still do and I will continue to help beat this disease in anyway I can until my last breath!!! (hopefully when I'm an old lady).

Whatever you are going through personally here, keep fighting and never give up hope. 

LOL Nicky (my patnet is under Nicky)






Login or register to post replies.

laurieformike's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 12/9/2011 - 11:50am

Husband got bad news from the MRI, new mets. The Gamaknife was 4months ago, they want to do WBR starting next week. So afraid of out come, with the side effects and all. Was looking to see if anyone had experences with the WBR? Also was reading about somepeople on the Board here have had good results with Yevoy with brain mets, and would it be option since he has had to reduce dose on Zelboraf twice now? So need to be able to discuss with someone, he is so depresed now. He was feeling so much better after reducing the dose on the Zelboraf but still having bad joint pain!

Login or register to post replies.

So, I did work around the system today and had a doctor at my radiation appointment give me my scan results. There is tumor activity in my groin (where I can feel an obvious lump) and also in my armpit on that same side. This is the first cancer activity not involving my back or groin lymph nodes. I don't like the idea that it's moving, but I'm relieved to hear that my brain and lungs and other organs were clear. I can deal with more lymph node involvement, right? 

I see my oncologist tomorrow, so we'll see what the plan from here is. 4 days left of radiation!

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35–37

Login or register to post replies.

marfda's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 12/8/2011 - 8:43am
Replies by: Phil S, lhaley

I'm curious what you all do and what our rights are to our scan result information? I had a PET scan yesterday and the results are available to my onc by the end of that day. But, the onc's nurse called today to set up my appointment and she isn't allowed to give me the results. I have to see the doctor tomorrow afternoon. It makes me nuts that I have to wait to talk to the doctor. It sends my anxiety sky high and emotionally, I do better if I have an idea of what the scan showed and can deal with that privately before talking to the doctor.

I went around the system today and asked the rad onc to give me results while at my radiation appointment today (the results are online for doctors affiliated with the hospital.) So, I got around the system today, but I know if I had not had my results and the nurse had called to tell me nothing, I would be having a crazy anxiety attack.  It also feels like we as patients are treated as infants in this system. Like we can only handle having a doctor to deliver the news to us.

PS I do understand that the results can be hard to read and interpert and people might freak out. But, in my case, I am informed and want to advocate for myself! 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35–37

Login or register to post replies.

Karolina's picture
Replies 10
Last reply 12/9/2011 - 7:59pm
Replies by: Janner, Karolina, lhaley

Sorry for asking, again, silly question, but due to the lack of clarity from the doctor, i am trying to find out as much information as possible from this forum. And as so far, I wasn’t disappointed. Thank you

Now I am trying to find out whether negative result of SNB means that this cancer COULD NOT spread elsewhere? Or, is it possible that SNB is negative but cells could spread somewhere in the body via different way? Bear in mind that I am still talking about Desmoplastic melanoma, which I understand may behave different to other melanomas…

I am a bit concerned as my friend had 3 operations already, at the moment she has an opened wound as the doctor wants to make sure that there are no more cancer cells after last (3rd operation).  However, I wonder whether this cancer could spread elsewhere if, in fact, it is on my friend’s skin for at least last 5 months! If SNB is negative, does it mean that the cancer CAN NOT spread elsewhere by other means? To date my friend had no other treatment done i.e. CT or blood test. Is it also a standard procedure and is not required?

Please advise

Login or register to post replies.

lhaley's picture
Replies 15
Last reply 12/7/2011 - 6:15pm

I am so thankful.  Original brain tumor (21mm) was found Oct 4th that was showing symptoms.  SRS done Oct 17th and was told that there was approx 1cm bleeding at the time.   EMR Oct 30th due to severe headaches but told stable.

Today's MRI was good!  There has been shrinkage of 20% and it shows nucrosis spaced through out the tumor.  Has not bleed again since the first time and is slowly being absorbed.  Both the radiologist and melanoma specialist both were so excited and had only smiling.  They feel that all of the issues I've been having are steroid symptoms.  Now we are finishing weaning.  They have slowly been weaning me off and should take about another week or so. 

Every joint has caused problems but they have told me if I do have some headaches that I'm not to worry.  Sometimes it does happen. If they're bad then I call back.  Meanwhile next PET scan is the first week of Jan.  


Login or register to post replies.

renter9's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 12/9/2011 - 3:17am

Person in that area had a shave biopsy with a melanoma diagnosis.  Derm wants him to return in 2 days to have the entire mole removed. Do not know the name of the MD, but would like some suggestions for a reputable clinic or specific MD.

Thanks, 6 year survivor

Login or register to post replies.

KellieSue's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 12/9/2011 - 9:22pm

Hello all. Thank you very much for the advice earlier on my braun tumor. I am about 20 days out and feeling much better. I finished the brain radiation and weaning off of steroids. PET and MRI look good so for now we will continue on.
I am getting better everyday wirh my stroke. It's a conscious decision to pay attention to the right side even tho I can't feel it. I have great OT and PT making me stronger everyday.
I will be starting a clinical trial with Temodar starting next Monday. Now if we can just keep the brain clean we will be good. I'm feeling positive and hoping to get back to kicking cancers ass.
Thank you all for the thoughts.

Kellie(from Iowa) fighting my way back from a stroke. I will beat this. I will. Cancer can kiss my ass

Cancer Sucks. I'm so not done kicking cancers ass! I have a lot of life left to live

Login or register to post replies.

Laurie from maine's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 12/7/2011 - 11:01am

Just came from doctor with scan results from 4 months on zelboraf.  Liver tumor continues to decrease, lungs have stayed same.  But intestines now have two big tumors wrapping around them growing quickly. :(   I go tonite for MRI and thurs for PET scan.  Plan as of now is surgery asap to remove two intestinal tumors, meanwhile staying on zelboraf until surgery (dr is checking on whether to stay on or not) and then figure out what plan I go with from there.  I am going to be hopeful/optimistic as I sailed thru the last intestinal surgery and was out of hospital in 4 days and walking around fine.  Doctor said sometimes each area of the body reacts differently to the drugs, and he is hoping that the stomach/intestine is only area that didnt react to Zelboraf. But guessing he is also thinking if I am strong enough after surgery we go to ippi or interleukin?    I am guessing plans might change depending on mri and pet results

wish me luck - keeping strong thoughts and staying strong not going to let this knock me down.

laurie from maine. 

Login or register to post replies.

Lisa13's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 12/12/2011 - 10:36pm

I just had gamma knife for 2 brain mets almost 1 month ago. I've had no symptoms so far, but my eye feels weird which happens to be on the same side as the larger tumour. Maybe this is the effects of radiation or maybe it's part of a sinus infection I'm being treated for (on the same side). My eye started out with slightly swollen eyelid and tearing - that went away, but now the eye feels weird. No double or blurry vision, just weird, like something isn't right - the vision is weird at times. The Dr. said if I get much worse (antibiodics arn't working), then I'll probably have to go on steroids as it may be imflammation from radiation. Has anyone had this??

My Dr. doesn't seem concerned about another tumour in there, but I guess if things got worse, we'd be more inclined to check.  My oncologist was a bit surprised that the radiologist never gave me any steroids after the treatment - especially since it was 2.5cm.  I think because of it's location, he didn't think I'd run into a problem (not near anything).

Also read 2 articles about brain mets and ipi/zelboraf. Apparently when you get brain mets, the brain/blood barrier becomes less intact making it easier for these drugs to go inside.   This actually seems like good news to me.


Many impossible things have been accomplished for those who refuse to quit

Login or register to post replies.

Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 12/5/2011 - 7:19pm
Replies by: Richard_K, Tim--MRF

So should men be careful not to get someone pregnant while on Zelboraf?

Login or register to post replies.

Anonymous's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 12/7/2011 - 4:13pm
Replies by: Katg416, Anonymous, Charlie S

I saw this on MIF's Forum: 

Cancer 101, supported by Genentech, and  in collaboration with MIF and others has created a Melanoma Planner with lots of melanoma information and an organizer to keep your bills, tests and studies in hard copy files.  To get yours:  call 646-638-2202, email: ,  to see it,


Login or register to post replies.

jmmm's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 12/3/2011 - 7:09pm
Replies by: momof2kids

I posted a couple of weeks ago about being scared of my hubby's craniotomy. Thanks for all the kind words. He sailed through the surgery and came home 48 hours after arriving in the recovery room. Simply amazing. He was walking the halls the next day. So far, no side effects and he's only taken 3 pain pills since leaving the recovery room. There really hasn't been pain at all for him.

So, now he's gearing up for gamma knife on the 22nd. His tumor was 5.5 x6.5 cm. And the doctor couldn't get it all safely with the craniotomy. Any advice on gamma knife would be appreciated.

Also, the pathology came back and shows that the cells were malignant and were shown to have been treated and in the process of dying. This proves, at least in him, that Zelboraf DOES pass the blood brain barrier.

The oncologist has mentioned Temador. He was going to consult with some other specialists, but is anyone using Temador and Zelboraf to help prevent additional brain tumors?

Login or register to post replies.

Bubbles's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 2/12/2012 - 8:28pm
Replies by: Anonymous, Bubbles, boot2aboot, Cooper, momof2kids

FYI - from my blog.....

This month marks a full year of my being under anti-PD1 treatment (MDX-1106 by Bristol Meyers Squibb) combined with vaccines at Moffitt in Tampa. However, anti-PD1 is now in development by 5 companies (BMS - MDX-1106, CureTech - CT-011, Merck/Scherring Plough - MK-3475/SCH 900475, Amplimmune/Glaxo Smith Kline - AMP-224, Genentec - no drug name yet).  However, the Genentec drug is technically an anti-PD1 ligand.  Trials for all of these include my BMS combo with vaccines at Moffitt as well as a new CureTech trial opening at Moffitt.  CureTech is also opening trials at Yale, Dartmouth, and locations in New York, Boston, Europe, and Israel. Merck/Sherring Plough is opening sites in San Antonio, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto.  Amplimmune will have sites in Detroit, North Carolina, and Nashville. BMS also has trials in New York and at Yale. 


So far, BMS has been in the lead with trials already in process, but it looks like game on for the rest of them.  Hope, they know what they are doing and there is real promise here.  Usually pharma knows where to place it's we will data remains hard to come by....more on that next..... 

Best wishes to all......Celeste

Login or register to post replies.