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12/18/2011 10:17am
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Replies: 5

I had 4 mel tumors removed. That was the easy part. Latest is tumor laying on arm artery. Dr. says inoperable. no wide margin, etc.

Tried IPI-side effects but no shrinkage, just growth. On Decarbazine but I know this drug is a very low responder. Will try other chemos but this takes months of try and error.DOES  ANYONE KNOW FROM A LAYMAN'S TERMS WHAT THE DANGER ARE INVOLVED WITH SURGERY TO REMOVE THIS TUMOR LAYING ON AN ARTERY. OF COURSE I WILL CONFIRM W. DRS. BUT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW FROM ANY IDEAS OUR THERE.


I had a tumor laying on my femoral artery and my surgeon could not tell if it was adhered to the artery or not.

Just in case he had a vascular surgeon stand by, and the plan was to either "peel" the tumor off the artery or

take out a section of the artery and graft in another piece.  I would either wake up in a regular hospital room

or in ICU if the graft was required.  The graft would have meant an additional 3 - 4 days in the hospital but I

happened to luck out.

I know this involves your arm but maybe this info. will help!

If you want more details let me know..........


Lonnie Maurice

Assuming you know the usual dangerous suspects from any type of surgery.......infection, reaction to sedation, unexpected shock and so on there are some specific risks.

First, a good surgical onc with a skilled "team" can mitigate many of the risks.  First blood  flow and the oxygen from that flow during surgery is essential to prevent tissue death which could occur to muscles, nerve bundles and or surrounding vascular systems, and organs within that plumbing system.

Honestly though, a experienced surgical onc is used to seeing cancer all snarled up inside the body and  has the expertise and technology to find solutions.  

As the other poster mentioned, a good vascular cutter on hand should be able to mitigate.  

Strongly suggest a second opinion from a surgical onc with a melanoma speciality.  I've had many a melanoma mess inside my body removed and unless it involved an organ or bone, my surgiical onc could always get where he wanted to go.....including an artery or two with involvement.


Charlie S

thank you for your reply. It seems like the encol is looking at this for way down the road. I know they want to keep trying systemic reduction. Seems safer but i worry about time frame. You know that chemo takes time. Ipi didnt work, not a candidate for zelb. This tumor is growing. If I were to have this surgery (which is not even being spoken about) what about the long term picture of trying to prevent other tumors.  So many things to think about. Thoughts??

thanks, Jim

Melanoma is surely a confounding disease.  One aspect of that is what to do in the short term and what to do for the long term.  Ugly as the fact is, there really isn't a good, comprehensive, repeatable, agreeable, . long term durable remission  track record for ANY one drug or treatment approach.  Even wait and see works for some..  

No mistake there ARE durable remissions occurring, and I think at a greater rate and here is why.  There are simply more choices.

 So you take intron that helps some, IL-2 that helps some, GMCSF which helps some, bio-chem, which helps some, Ipi, which helps some, Gleevec, which helps some, radiation, which helps some, Zelboraf, which helps some. temador, which helps some, SRS, which helps some, surgery which helps some.  Clinical trials that help some.  Even complimentary and alternative  approaches help some.

So what we end up with is a lot of things that help some, but no one thing that helps all.  The silver lining is we now have more choices so we have more chances, but therein lies the rub with selecting treatments.

I can only tell you what I have done and why.  Many years ago I learned that worry serves no usefull purpose.  What worked for me was and is to consider short term concerns of quality of life, potential of benefit and cost.  Cost not being strictly monetary.

What I have found is that having a plan that appeals to me emotionally and intellectually as well as addressing my short term concerns always has led me to an informed decision.  That has required surrounding myself with professionals that would, as a team effort, openly discuss what I wanted to do and we jointly arrived at a way forward.

Sometimes I have had systemic treatment then surgery, sometimes surgery before systemic, I have beat the odds for years, so have been under no illusion except to MANAGE my disease.

Because I have a really good surgical onc who is a whiz with a knife, surgery has been a major component of my decisions....but you must realize he and I have been together since 1996. Make no mistake though, surgery is always at the top of my list for short term concerns.......................always.

Today, there are more options, but I do know as I always have believed that it is the combination of things and the constant working the problem in partnership and open communication with my medical providers that yields the best results......................and yes, some plain old luck plays into the equation and I have certainly been lucky.


Charlie S


Who and where is your surgeon?  I'm gathering information for my father who, looks like, has Stage III Melanoma.  We're trying to find the best, most informed Docs we can.