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.

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barrykatz's picture
Replies 13
Last reply 4/6/2015 - 10:50am

My father has had his first cylcle of Yervoy. the only side effect so far is very bad itching. to the point where they rash is starting to bleed because of the scratching. Our Dr. said we are not allowed to use any cream on the skin whatsoever. We are only allowed to use Benadryl or Claritin,


This really does not make any sense to me. Has anybody used any cream to combat the itchy side effects ipilimumab / yervoy. Please let me know. I really would like to be able to help him with this ASAP. Thanks

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dentholla's picture
Replies 9
Last reply 4/6/2015 - 10:18am

This week my family joined the collective journey that so many others are husband was diagnosed with melanoma after having a funny looking mole removed from his temple.  I am turning into a crazy person trying to find out any information I can...and if I'm honest the internet scares the crap out of me!

In late January of this year we noticed rapid changes in the shape and color and it had all the warning signs of something we needed to look into.  He made an appointment with his dermatologist and had it removed in early March.  The results came back melanoma ... and here we are.  We met with an ear, nose, and throat head and neck surgeon this week that has him scheduled for a sentinel node mapping, WLE (?), and biopsy for next Friday.  My husband didn't have his path reports because I think he ditched them out of shock.  Here are the things I know - He is .8mm, clarks level iii, ulceration present (pretty sure about that one) and there it is.  That's know what I know.  I scheduled a follow up with a melanoma specialist (oncologist) at UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center in Dallas for 4/22 as I've read we need to find someone who specializes in this disease outside of our regular dermatologist/head and neck surgeon. 

This is such a hard time, I've read it's one of the hardest times because there is so much uncertainty.  We are younger (he is 38) with 3 boys all under 7 (set of identical twins) and he is self-employed while I work outside the home.  We don't have grandparents that can step in and help so I'm starting to call on favors from our wonderful friends to help us out with the kiddos next week.  Any words of encouragement would be helpful right now... I have no idea how/when to tell the kids either…googling that as well.  I feel like we are doing everything we can to try and get in front of this but worry is eating me up.  Also, I have zero idea about what his recovery will be like...not to mention how long it takes to get back all these results.

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/5/2015 - 6:13pm

I'm just hoping someone can help me understand the difference between BRAF positive and negative in terms of treatment possibilities and outcomes.  45 years old and just diagnosed with stage 3/c-BRAF neg nodular melanoma on the bridge of my nose.  They are suggesting a radical lymph node dissection and then radiation once I have healed from surgery.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you all for your help.  Not sure what to think.

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yazziemac's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 4/5/2015 - 3:21pm
Replies by: _Paul_, Ed Williams

Hello all:


It's been a tough 2 weeks. Pete had one week of radiation to his back for pain.  The day after it finished he was overwhelmed with headache and vomiting.  He was admitted to our local hospital and given an MRI.  They had difficulty managing his pain and he was in hospital for 4 days.  The MRI showed many new brain lesions.  He is now home and begins whole brain radiation next week.  He continues on the Ipi and has now had 2 infusions.  His pain is now managed well.  Happy Easter to you too.



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Nadia's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 4/5/2015 - 3:15pm

We live in Canada, hubs failed ipi, had to interrupt Dabrafenib due to side effects, and after 12 shots of Keytruda the scans are showing growth in one of his existing lung nodules and new growth in the gastro hepatic ligament lymph nodes. He had a brain tumour, cyber-knifed in sept 2014, and as of last MRI (march 2015) has shrunk from 1.9mm to 1.4mm.

Other than the chemo cocktails, or going back to Dabrafenib and find a way to deal with the severe side effects, what other options do we have?

Are the TILs trials at NHI in Bethesda still open for international patients? What is the best way to approach them? Can we, as patients approach them or do we need a dr referral? 

I'm at a point where I need help, all the searches I do come up without anything else but IL2 and/or TILs; he appears to be excluded from any other type of trial due to prior exposure to ipi, antiPD1 and BRaf meds. Also, not sure about the vaccine type treatments, they all seem to require less than 3 visceral tumours, he has more than 12.  

Thank you for your input, I hope we can come up with something to keep us in the game a little longer.

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Eileensulliv's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 4/4/2015 - 10:50pm

I had my first ipi plus Nivo treatment about a month ago (my first ever any sort of treatment) and ended up with high fevers and vomiting, among other minor side effects. At first it was believed to be because my thyroid function was way off, hyperthyroidism. But after some time in the hospital and my thyroid improving but my fevers and vomiting getting higher and more frequent, my doctors were stumped. While in the hospital they started me on prednisone and I got better. I've been home a few days, and feel great aside from a lil diarrhea. 

Today I saw my oncologist to discuss how I feel now and where we go from here. He does not want to give me both ipi and Nivo since I had such a reaction to both, so he is going to keep me on Nivo every other week. This will start in 2-3 weeks once I am weened to a low enough dose of prednisone. 

While in the hospital, they did another ct scan. The tumors in my lungs are stable, no growth. There was previously an area in my intestine in which they were unsure if it was pooling of contrast, bowel "filling", or another met. Today that spot is gone off the ct completely! And the best news is there was a 2.4x2.0cm nodule in my intestine which is now 1.7x1.4cm!! So it's shrinking!! I know it's a little early to be so excited, but I just can't help it! the little bugger is shrinking!!


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CCCL's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 4/3/2015 - 12:38pm
Replies by: CCCL, Thandster

Hi ,


I recently had my Sentinel Lymph Node surgery, and it they found 1 out of 5 nodes positive with 1 mm dimension of tumor burden in the positive node. I am going to be doing the CLND in a week or so. I have read a lot of the information on this forum and the internet as a whole and its been great to get a better understanding of everything. The question I wanted to see if anyone was familiar with was the pathologist listed a % of how much cancer I guess was in the Lymph Node. I haven't read about that anywhere, so I wanted to understand the significance of it. 


Here is exactly what the pathologist said on the report:


Largest Metastatic focus measures 1 mm in greatest dimension, involves less then 10% of lymph node area,  subcapsular and intraparenchymal location, no extracapsular extention indentified.


So I have a good idea of all of the other info outside of the "10%" of lymph node involvement, I haven't seen anything like that anywhere on the internet so was hoping someone here might be familiar it. I am just wondering if it has any significance in terms or good or bad factors. 


Thank you for your help ahead of time. 


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Happy_girl's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/3/2015 - 9:49am
Replies by: Jubes, SoCalDave, Rocco

Yesterday was my one year anniversary... And today was my dr Appointment.... Everything was good! 1 year NED!  I can't believe it's been a year already! Thankful and blessed! Happy Easter everyone! 

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Ginger8888's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 4/3/2015 - 8:30am

I was diagnosed in Jan 2014 and had lymph nodes removed from the left side of my neck, then did the 30 Hd interferon in April-March and failed it, it spread to my lungs so Dr put me on Yervoy and i finished it Aug 13th and i just got my second 3 month ct scans results and i'm and still NED..Whoot! I can't believe i've been NED for 6 months..Thank you Yervoy!!

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BillyF's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 4/3/2015 - 8:28am

Hello all.


I was diagnosed with Stage II Malignant Melanoma, Nodular type Breslow 5mm, Clark IV. I went through a one-year treatment with Intron A.  I was treated with interferons to delay the recurrence of malignant melanoma. My treatment consisted of a one-month high dose of 30 MIU five days a week, and 18 MIU three days a week for another 11 months. Like many others on interferon, I did suffer from side effects like headache, nausea, fatigue, mild depression, hair thinning, muscle ache , fever, and chills.


During that time I was terrified and I feel that, without support of my loved ones, i would become depressed.

What was your experience? How did you cope with your fears? I mean, did you stay positive throughout your treatment and how did you achieve that?




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Anonymous's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 4/2/2015 - 9:28pm
Replies by: Rocco

Hi all,

We're in the early stages of planning a Twitter chat about immunotherapy and its use in treating melanoma. We will be partnering with another cancer research/advocacy group and an oncologist who specializes in immunotherapy. What questions can we answer? What do you think would be the most helpful information for people with melanoma to know about immunotherapy? We value your input so please let us know! You can leave suggestions in the comments or email me at THANK YOU!

Lauren - MRF

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Jager001's picture
Replies 8
Last reply 4/2/2015 - 1:12pm
Replies by: mandican, Janner, Anonymous, Jager001, lhaley

Here's what I got back today....


Compound nevus w/ architectural disorder and focally severe cytological atypia.  The lesion extents to the lateral and deep margins.  This lesion has severe atypia and it does not appear that it has been completely removed, conservative excision to ensure complete histologic evaluation to exclude an adjacent melanoma is recommenced.  Histologic sections are of skin w/ a nevomelanocytic lesion.  The lesion has junctional and intradermal elements.  Junction cells are present singly as well as in nests.   There is a lentiginous proliferation of melancytes along the dermoepidermal junction.  These cells have focally severe cytolgoic atypia.  In the dermis are nevomelanocytes w/ maturation.  Also, in the dermis there is a mild inflammatory cell infiltrate composed predominantly of lymphocytes and there is fibroplasia. 


What does this mean?



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Brigitte's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 4/2/2015 - 1:05pm
Replies by: mandican, Brigitte, Janner

I had a shave biopsy a few weeks ago with the diagnoise being a compound nevus with dysplastic features.  The biopsy also said that junctional changes are focally advanced, perhaps indicative of progression, such that a conservative excision is recomended. I have an appointment to get it done next week. My question is, since my shave biopsy didn't detect melinoma am I in the clear ? Can a shave biopsy give a false negative or miss it and is there a chance this biopsy may detect it? Thank you for your answers. Im trying not to be nervous. 

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LauraJean's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 4/1/2015 - 11:14pm

Hi I was just wondering how many ladies here have been diagnosed with breast cancer after melanoma. Doing radiation now for stage 1 breast cancer. First melanoma was in 2007 stage 2, then another in situ in 2013, now breast cancer. Is this common? Thanks

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