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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KnowThyself's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 6/28/2013 - 11:41am
Replies by: Janner, KnowThyself, becky15

So the lesion is on my upper ear helix...I've had a biopsy, excision, WLE, and now they want to take more because the margins are not clean... however, the path report seems to contradict itself, here's the meat of it:
"Severly atypical dermal and epidermal melanocytic priliferation present at tissue edges...the lesion is histologically difficult and borderline in nature. Although a benign lesion is favored, we are not able to exclude malignant melanoma. The differential diagnosis includes a .8mm deep, nonulcerated, malignant melanoma stage pt1a, with no mitotic activity.. re-excision along with margin of uninvolved skin recommended....
So basically, id like to know if its benign, or malignant...and why they wouldn't be able to tell the difference...I don't want to have more done if its not needed, seems how this time a skin graft won't be able to cut it, he said it'll have to be larger, and get into plastic surgery..... I don't know what to do, I don't want to leave it alone if there are cancerous cells, if they ARE in fact cancerous...but no one seems to know! And with no insurance, and a low tolerance for pain, I need a better answer than 'borderline'....


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Tina D's picture
Replies 17
Last reply 7/9/2013 - 9:45am

Sorry to be so long in posting. My mel specialist ( in St Louis) consulted with a surgeon who said that getting a biposy was not something he felt was feasable with my tumors being so deep, and my long surgical history. This was difficult news to recieve! But, thank you to a dear friend who was able to think quickly and clearly ( thank you, Amy!) I now have an appt in Nashville to discuss the Pd1 trial there. One thing that poses a possible denial is my prednisone dosage after the autoimmune response to ipi. I am still on 5 mg prednisone, and that is not a problem, but they have to decide if the dosages, and tapering, fit in with the strict trial guidelines. I have not been able to be on here much due to ongoing set-backs from my husband's back surgery, but will try to post after my visit to TN. Still feeling wonderful and am SO thankful to be here to celebrate our youngest child's 14th birthday today! She was 2 years old when I was first diagnosed with both breast cancer and melanoma within 6 weeks of each other. Yes...I am very blessed to still be here and be able to kiss her sweet cheek this morning and wish her a happy birthday :-)


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I have created a petition on the website asking that tanning beds be regulated as a Class II medical device and be banned for use by minors. As someone who has lost a dear relative to melanoma, I strongly believe that the next generation should be legally protected from these devices, as the dangers are not known well enough.

Please "sign" my petition here:

It needs 100 signatures before it can be viewed on the website and at 100,000 the White House will issue an official response. Let's show our leaders how seriously we take melanoma protection!

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I have created a petition on the website asking that tanning beds be regulated as a Class II medical device and be banned for use by minors. As someone who has lost a dear relative to melanoma, I strongly believe that the next generation should be legally protected from these devices, as the dangers are not known well enough.

Please "sign" my petition here:

It needs 100 signatures before it can be viewed on the website and at 100,000 the White House will issue an official response. Let's show our leaders how seriously we take melanoma protection!

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Brendan's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 6/27/2013 - 8:38pm

Hi Everyone,

Craniotomy #2 was a success and I am NED again.  The surgeon left six chemo wafers in the cavity and my CT was clear (sorry if I posted this already-I am on some serious decadron).  Surgery was on Tues at 7am.  I fell great and I am possibly going home tomorrow.

Thanks for all your support.

Good luck!


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joy_'s picture
Replies 3
Last reply 6/28/2013 - 10:56am
Replies by: joy_, benp, Gene_S

Hi everyone.  I have read a few previous posts about ALC and positive immune response with Yervoy.  My husband just had his 3rd infusion (10mg/kg), and I was looking back at his labs... It appears to me that he may be having a positive response.  Can anyone give me your take on these numbers and tell me if this would be a fair assessment?


1.3 (three months prior to Yervoy)

1.6 (day of first infusion - 2 weeks off Zelboraf)

2.7 (day of second infusion)

2.5 (day of third infusion)


Also, I was wondering about the C Reactive Protein number.  Any correlation between that and response?

His number of immature granulocytes is up as well.  Is this indicative of anything? 

I would love to know that his labs may show possible good signs because it has been a little difficult to see new subqs while on this treatment.  As always, thanks to anyone willing to share your insight or experience!


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Littlea41's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 6/27/2013 - 12:32am
Replies by: Littlea41, Anonymous, Janner



I was diagnosed with melanoma in-situ on my wrist in march and had it removed as well as the local wide- everything came back clean.

2 weeks ago I had 2 spots removed from my chest.  One came back OK and the other one came back as the following:

Pathological Diagnosis: Atypical Compound Melanocylic Nevus with Architectural Disorder and Mild cylologic Atypia, (Dysplastic Nevus), see comments.

Comments: Margins involved. 

Gross Description: Received in 10% formalin is a shave biopsy measuring .6 cm X .4 cm with a pigmented area measuring .1 cm X .1 cm.

The doctor doesn't seem to think this is worth doing the local wide on.  I'm concerned because the margins are involved and I'm already a Melanoma patient.  My original melanoma didn't look like a typical melanoma.  in fact, the doctor didn't even want to remove it but I insisted.  I have another spot on my back that is darker then any other mole on my body-- again, she didn't want to take that either.  This is a new doctor I am seeing (not the one who removed the melanoma).

What are your thoughts on getting a second opinion or- having the local wide done on the mild nevus?  I've read that some reports have come back OK but when reviewed by another pathologist, they have concluded melanoma. 


Thanks for your time

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Replies by: Charlie S

The Save Your Skin Foundation is desperately looking for basal-cell carcinoma patients to help with a survey this week. If you are interested in participating please contact us at:

A community of volunteers determined to eliminate melanoma through research and education, and dedicated to those touched by it.

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NYKaren's picture
Replies 10
Last reply 6/27/2013 - 9:11am
Replies by: Tina D, Owl, Brendan, DeniseK, kylez, jP85, Anonymous, POW, awillett1991, King

so I had my scans yesterday for measurable disease to get me into PD1 trial and to rule out brain mets.

good  news--i've got measurable disease.

bad news--brain mets.  3 around 1 centemeter, and 1 less than 5 mm.  I am scheduled to see Dr. Kondzolka, Director of Stereotactic brain neurosurgery @ NYU.  Tomorrow is consult, Gamma Knife procedure is probably Tuesday.  He used to be at University of Pittsburgh...anyone know of  him?

So I guess I'm stage IV now.

I was crying on the phone when Dr. Pavlick told me. 

I guess I'll post more after I see Dr. K husband is coming with me...can anyone suggest questions to ask?

I know some of you have had Gamma Knife, can you please share your experience with me?



Don't Stop Believing

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mary in Rhode Island's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 6/27/2013 - 9:41am

Has anyone used an antibiotic with Zelboraf?  I was recently ill and needed an antibiotic. Evidently, with zelboraf there are many that are counterindicated>>>>>due to arrythemias of the heart or qt lenght. I ended up on worked but I was partially deaf while I used it

What antibiotic have you been successful with while on Z.  I have been on Zelboraf.almost 2 yrs.  Last pet showed there might be a new issue. but that is another issue...thank you for any info.  Regards, Mary

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mandamanda123's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 6/27/2013 - 9:16am
Replies by: Tina D

Wanted to give a quick update on my now 30-year old husband who was diagnosed at stage 3 in Feb 2012, for anyone in a similar situation facing difficult news/choices. My husband opted for no treatment and decided against a clinical trial following an axillary lymph node (complete) dissection in April of 2012. There was no evidence of melanoma in any of the removed material. He had no/unknown primary and the initial mass was macroscopic (very large), possibly consisting of matted lymph nodes, BRAF+. His most recent scans were in November of 2012 (no head scan at that time), no concerns. He has scans in July, so we are holding our breaths because we realize that this is critical timing for recurrence. However, he feels healthy and is thus far happy with his decision to decline further treatment. We will continue to hope and pray that the surgery to remove the initial mass was a complete success and I will update on his scans in July.

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mom3girlsFL's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 6/27/2013 - 9:17am
Replies by: Tina D

Hello fellow warriors,

It's been a long time since I've posted anything...basically, have had no new news to report AMEN!  Although I am not active in posts, I do still visit and read.  MPIP family is always in my prayers!

I remember posting frantically a couple years ago when mel invaded groin lymph nodes, not once but twice.  I really thought some very terrible things although I kept my poker face with family and friends.  This community allowed me to vent my fears and frustrations and I will forever be grateful to the old timers who helped me along.  I continue to pray for the warriors and their families who we have lost and as each day passes I am grateful for another day.  This does not mean mel isn't ALWAYS on my mind, but time does help push it towards the back of daily living.

Keep fighting!


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Landslide45's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 6/26/2013 - 1:30am

First time poster.  My Dad (69 yrs) just finished year of Interferon after surgery to remove mel on abdomen and removal of a couple lymph nodes.  He got his post-interferon PET scan results this morning and it apparently lit up with spots on his lungs.  He is scheduled for CT July 18.

Needless to say it has been a rough day and I've had to lay low at work and barricade my door shut because I can't stop tearing up.  The information on these boards--both the medical and the personal--has been tremendously helpful and beneficial to me as we try to deal with the news.

With apologies if these are repeats (I searched and couldn't find much) I have a few specific questions I'd like to ask.  Our family's anxiety will be very high for the next month and while my Dad seems to have a que cera cera attitude I want to know as much as I can about his prognosis.

-- Does anyone know the rate for false positive PET scans showing spots on lungs?  One poster said her doc told her it was as high as 30-40% but I couldn't find much else.

-- Since my Dad finished his Interferon about three weeks ago, he has gradually been feeling better, and his "chemo cough" has gone away.  The doctor told him that this is a very good sign because if the lung spots were melanoma his energy and wellness would "be going downhill, not uphill."  I suspect this is just the doctor trying to stay positive but would like to hear if others have direct experience with respect to this.

-- IF in fact the lung spots prove to be melanoma, am I correct that the next steps are likely surgery and potentially clinical trials?  My Dad said he will not do any Interferon again, but I hope to convince him to try other treatments with less intense side effects.

Thanks to all for any insight.  Best-


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Kim_H's picture
Replies 10
Last reply 7/3/2013 - 11:45am

Hello! I've been on Zelboraf for almost 7 months now and the side effects are still happening just as bad as they were when I first started taking the drug! Does anyone know if they'll Ever subside or stop all together?? Thanks for any insight that can be given.

I have cancer, cancer Does Not have ME!

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DeniseK's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 6/27/2013 - 9:23am
Replies by: Tina D, kylez, Brendan, POW, DeniseK

It's me again.......I have a couple questions.  First off has anyone done Z with Ipi?  Right now I"m on full dose Z, there were worries that it stopped working but I've been on full dose now for just over a week and I can feel the sub q on my arm going back down.  I'm also feeling the other side effects, the bottom of my feet are killing me, slight nausea, but not as bad as before, and fatigue.  All of the side effects are just fine with me if it's working again.  I'd rather not talk about hospice right now.  Which really flares me up when I think about it.  My doctor seriously upset me, I'm considering about getting a new Onc, it's a difficult decision because he's been there since day 1. 

Anyway.....I'll be reducing Z back down to 1/2 dose the day I start Ipi.  Just wondering if anyone has done this combo and what to expect.

On another note I was out staining some deck wood yesterday for about 10-15 minutes.  The weather was total over cast, slight sprinkles of rain and I got sunburned!!  We need a protective bubble on Z.  Any help/advice on treating the burn would help too,  I'm coated in Aloe Vera but doesn't seem to help

Thank You


Cancer Cannot cripple love, silence courage, destroy friendship, shatter hope or conquer the spirit.

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