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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Happy_girl's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 6/29/2016 - 11:12pm
Replies by: Prd10, Happy_girl, Anonymous, Polymath

I just got my scan report from my ct scan. It states... Liver is normal in size and ct density. There is a sub cm hypoattenuating lesion in segment 6 , not definitively seen on prior outside hospital pet/ct scan. My question is... Could it have been on the other scan and missed? What is all of this really saying? I'm really praying it is a cyst or maybe a false positive. Thanks for all your help.

is this pretty much just saying the same thing that my last post- spot on liver- is saying? Sorry to keep asking questions- I'm just trying to understand!

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DutchCasey's picture
Replies 10
Last reply 6/30/2016 - 6:23am

Concerned might be too light a term.
A little about me, I'm 47 years old, male, with very pale skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair.
When i was a child my hair was so light it almost looked white.
Needless to say I had several very severe sunburns by the time I hit my teens. At that time I became aware of the risks of sunburns and have never been outside without a shirt since.

Fast forward to my thirties and I find a lump under the skin of my right thigh. Doctor says it a fatty deposit and leaves it at that.
Keeping in mind that I was raised to not complain about health issues and not be a hypochondriac, I felt a change in a mole on my upper back but thought nothing of.
Ten years later I find a scab a little lower than the first mole. Again impossible to see the area properly I peal the scab off. Guess what? The scab keeps reforming.
That area is now a jagged irregular mole that looks the same as the first one.
Last year I noticed a lump on my side under the skin over my lower ribs. Again thought nothing of it. Just another fatty lump. I did notice that I had pain under that area when I bent over, like a bruised rib. Again thought nothing of it. I had three shoulder surgeries over the last couple of years and had gained quite a bit of weight from being sedentary and just thought it was caused be that weight gain.
Couple of years ago my wife noticed that the original mole on my upper back was flaking. Middle of winter and I had some dry skin so again thought nothing of it.
Since the first lump by my ribs I have since developed three more on my torso and one in the thigh on my left leg.
Last week I was with my GP checking out the scars from the shoulder surgeries as they are developing keloid scars which is odd as all previous scars have always healed perfectly.
I decide, more like remember, to ask about the moles on my back. He takes one look and all he says is "oh my".
He immediately sends a referral to a dermatologist. This being Canada there is a wait involved. Can't see the dermatologist till july 19th.
Strange thing is that the dermatologists office called that day and said I am on top of the waiting list for any spots that open up due to cancellations.

Sorry for being so long winded.
Just how concerned should I be? Normally I don't worry too much about health issues as the odds are always in my favour but as I've been reading many pieces are starting to come together.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't freaking out.

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Ablessedfamily6's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 6/30/2016 - 7:21pm

Hello everyone and thank you in advance for any insight you can provide! I was diagnosed with stage 3b melanoma in 2007: 2.9mm ulcerated primary with micro mets in one lymph node. I was blessed with an aggressive surgeon and declared NED two months after diagnosis. I went on to participate in a gp100 trial at NCI NIH. After five years of clean scans, I was released from NIH and began follow up at UVA. I've had many, many biopsies over the years and everything has been caught at "mildly atypical". For some reason this year, I've had two spots make it to "moderate/severe" and also had two Basal Cells pop up. :-/

First question, is there anything else I could be doing besides the biopsies and waiting? The recent issues have me nervous. Currently, I have 3-5 biopsies every 3 months, blood work every 6 months and CT every year.  

Next question, any one know of any long term side effects from gp100? I'd never thought to consider the clinical trial as the cause of other health problems, but my general physician suggested it and now I need more info, but there isn't any. :-/ Since 2007, I have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, Narcolepsy, Glaucoma, hypoesthia (sp?), peripheral neuropathy, migraines, inflammatory disorder of the skin, tinnititus, abnormal heart rhythms, tachycardia, hypoglycemia, dis autonomic and sluggish digestive disorder. The whole time we have been looking at MS as the possible cause, but frequent scans show no lesions. My dr said that the more research coming out on immunotherapy makes her believe that the trial could be the cause of my health problems. FWIW, before 2007 and between flare ups I am a very fit and active person. I bike and hike regularly and run whenever my muscles will allow it. Many of my specialists have billed me as the healthiest sick person they treat. I do respond well to prednisone, but only at 60mg+ per day and I hate to think the effect that is having on my body long term. 


Anyways. I would appreciate any opinions or insights. I feel like I'm losing perspective of the situation. I'm trying to stay grateful for the time I've been blessed to have, but starting to feel like a sitting duck that isn't doing anything to protect itself. :-/ Thank you again!

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magnus31's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 6/29/2016 - 12:43pm
Replies by: geriakt, magnus31

Dear all, I hope you are all coping well. I'm currently stage IV receiving Nivolumab on my 18th month.

'm planning a trip to Eastern Africa this summer where the yellow fever vaccine is compulsary for visas. I've read that one should not take the yellow fever vaccine while receiveing Nivolumab, but unable to confirm this from my doctors as of yet. Any views on this? Best.

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Thanny's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 7/13/2016 - 2:56pm
Replies by: Sflynn, desertsun, geriakt

Hello all, I'm developing dry and flaky skin around the corners of my mouth and on my eyelids. I'm not having any luck keeping it at bay with neosporin or lotion. If you have any suggestions please help. 





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MelissaCK's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 6/29/2016 - 8:19pm

Hi everyone,

A couple weeks ago I went to the dermatologist for a routine body scan, simply because I hadn't been in awhile. She removed two moles from my back and a few days later called and said they were atypical, and one was pre-melanoma (I think those were her words, my head was sort of spinning at that point). She had me come back in for a larger excision so today I went in and she removed the area of skin surrounding the mole. I wish I could recall the size of both the mole and the incision but at this time I can not (I am planning on requesting the pathology report tomorrow).

I asked if this made it more likely that I would get melanoma and she said that No, it's all gone--that it was just in the mole and surrounding tissue and since it's removed, there is no longer a problem. Is this true, that I am good to go now? Are there instances where they run a report on the surrounding skin and find that there is more cancer and that it's spread? What's been your experience?

I go back in two weeks to get the stitches removed so I am hoping to have more answers then. I was feeling okay about this but the more I read the more I realize this could be bigger than I thought. The doctor was really encouraging and didn't seemed worried about anything, but I'm still worried about potential outcomes. My husband is deployed and closest family is about 4 hours away, so I'm just looking for support from people who have been there before.

Thanks to everyone.


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Chance16's picture
Replies 11
Last reply 6/29/2016 - 9:40am
Replies by: Chance16, jennunicorn, Anonymous, Ed Williams, Gene_S, jvictoria

Hello,  I'm new to the forum.....In May I had my annual skin exam which they found a mole on my left ankle to be positive for melanoma (1.1 mm). In June I had WLE and SNLB; margins were clear but the sentinel node was positive.  My PET/CT scans and MRI were negative for mets to organs but there were some nodes but doc was not concerned and felt good with results.  My surgical oncologists wants to do a CLND which I do not want (no nodes lit up in my left groin). He also said there was no drug therapy for me (Stage 3C). I am going to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa for a second opinion.  I would appreciate any thoughts, suggestions or experiences.  Thank you.

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Replies by: geriakt

Hello all... I haven't posted on the forum in a while pretty much because there wasn't much to say while I was on the clinical trial.

First a bit of history...

Original site right thumb, under nail, colorless melanoma, originally misdiagnosed 06/2014, positive diagnosis 05/2015. 06/2015 Distal amputation to remove the primary site, SNB to identify spread, SNB positive, complete disection performed 07/2015.

Began Clinical trial CA209-238 10/2015 CT scans, infusions, etc., etc.

Today... 7 months later, went from no side effects to all side effects for Nivo, trial suspended, put on steroids... next, 2cm nodule near the original SNB site (left elbow) identified plus a 10mm nodule in the left lung.

06/2015 2cm nodule removed, positive; lung biopsy tomorrow

Will keep you all posted on next steps... most probably, Moffitt, NYU and MSK for second opinions on what to do next.



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Aaron's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 7/2/2016 - 3:05pm
Replies by: debwray

So i am sitting here getting my drips and looking over my bloodwork. I see that my red blood cell volume is low again and continues to slightly drop the last three times my bloodwork was taken.  Just curious if anyone else recalls their MCV or MCHC being low.  Granted it is not that low but like I said there seems to be a trend where every time I get bloodwork done it is slightly lower. 

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Kimba67's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 6/30/2016 - 5:53am

I had my surgery Wed, My BF, Sister, and both sets of parents came to support me.  I didn't know if they would operate becasue I was having hypertension issues that could have stopped the process.  I waited one month to have the proceedure and now I have a 7inch scar, 3 inch scar below that and a very sore arm pit. 


I went in for the mapping and boy does that radiation medicine  All I could say was "Dayum"...4 injections and the tech thought the needle was the worse part...HA

I woke up and was ready to go home.  The next couple of days were a little fuzzy, but I was verticle and moving as well as could be expected.  I was standing in line at the store Saturday and this man behind me asked me what happened.  I smiled and told him I was sky didving when I was clipped by a glider.  My mom giggled and he looked at me so strange.  They he said "noooo", I smiled and said "no"...I had cancer removed. 


It's funny how making someone else smile, made three other people smile.  My amazing physician and his team did a great job, He feels he got it all, but now I am waiting on the pathology report from my lymph.  No matter what we go through, we are never alone.  God is good.

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laulamb's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 7/13/2016 - 11:03pm
Replies by: desertsun, Janner

Can someone help me understand what this means?  No mutuations or BRAF?











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Rita and Charles's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 6/29/2016 - 9:38pm

Has anyone experienced patches of their skin turning into white blotches??  Charles' arms and part of chest have now gotton white splotches instead of his normal skin tone.  I assume it is lack of melanon??  Any feedback or experience shared is great, thank you.



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Janner's picture
Replies 7
Last reply 6/30/2016 - 12:23am

I have ignored my website for a long time,  I'm attempting a revamp of the website - moving the domain to in the next month or two.  I'm sure I have many broken links and lots of links need to be updated reflecting more current info.

I am looking for links that have been particularly helpful to you - that may be helpful to others.  My website currently has the categories listed below.  I am willing to add/delete based on input.  And if anyone wants to spend a little time helping me check links and decide which are out to date, I'd appreciate any input!  smiley  I either need to update the site or trash it, and I've decided to give it one more attempt to bring it up to date.  This is only a sideline for me nowadays (and I still have a real job) so INPUT IS WELCOME.

Categories I'm currently using:

Newly Diagnosed
Educational Material
Treatment Options by stage
Patient Perspectives
Lymphatic System
Medical Terminology
Wound Care
Cancer Care
Psychology of Cancer
Cancer Myths
Recurrent Melanoma
Multiple Primaries
Unknown Primaries
Atypical Nevi
Mole Mapping
Melanoma Items
Sideline Issues

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Aaron's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 6/27/2016 - 2:29am
Replies by: MoiraM, geriakt, youngann, Aaron

Tomorrow I go in for my second nivo/ipi combo treatment. So far my side effects have been minimal. I have had two separate days about 8 days apart where I experienced pressure in my lower abdomen, I have had acne onsets where pimples have been appearing, I had two days of a very light rash on my forearms, and strangely I have experienced some sort of immunity to my allergies. 

Previously I was experiencing a feeling of the onset of sciatica but this has largely subsided to where I now feel like I need my lower back popped or sometimes it is unnoticeable altogether. 

I am anxious for my first scan to see if/what my results are. I realize I have some time before that but it is still in the back of my mind.  

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