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What is the prognosis for stage IV melanoma?

My wife was recently diagnosed of stage IV melanoma. She has some history of skin cancer but this is the first time with a stage IV melanoma.

Asked 3 years ago
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cindy.ingram a year ago

Mike, is your wife still doing well?


4 Answers


Posted 3 years ago

Prognosis is a tricky thing to give a good answer on because it is greatly dependent on how you and your wife respond and fight. If you do absolutely nothing, her chances of surviving past 5 years are about 5-15% depending on what study you ready. However, if you attack the situation with full force, fight hard, explore your options, do a variety of integrative treatments, in my opinion, her chances are much better. My wife was also diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma, but she fought hard and did a lot of different things and beat it! She's been cancer-free for over 4 years now.

First and foremost, you need to pick a primary medical treatments. Generally speaking, the best cancer centers for melanoma are Sloan Kettering in NYC and MD Anderson in Texas. However, there are lots of other great treatment centers across the country. And there are many, many different types of medical treatments, ranging from chemos, bios, vaccines, etc. The treatment will also depend on where the melanoma has spread to: lungs? brain? liver? Start by finding a great doctor who treats melanoma and then figure out what experimental treatments are available in your area (or in other areas if you're willing to travel). Get the studies of the treatments being offered and read through them -- sometimes you can find that some are better than others depending on age, gender, blood characteristics, area of melanoma spread, etc. My wife did biochemo, which is given at MD Anderson, at Cal Pacific in San Francisco, and in Los Angeles (can't remember the name of the doctor).

After that, start looking into the other integrative paths to pursue. Diet, supplements, vitamins, herbs, mind exercises, etc... have all be shown to have a positive effect on fighting melanoma. I would look into all of these things (my wife did all of them) and find the ones that make sense to you to do, and go for it. Finding a good integrative medical doctor to support you with choosing these things is also very helpful.

Also, depending on the medial treatment, you can use a variety of integrative treatments to aid in the effectiveness of the medical treatment. For example, if you do chemo, putting a protocol of detoxification, vitamin supplementation, and blood platelet growth stimulation, can help significantly with the "recovery" phases in between rounds of chemo, giving the chemo the best chance of working.

If you'd like, I'd be happy to connect with you and tell you what my wife did and give you as much information as I can to help.

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jackiesorkin 3 years ago

I'd love for you to please connect with me, this is super helpful. My father is battling this full force and he's a Tiger ( much like your wife I would imagine) Any advice would be fantastic. I can be emailed at Jackiesorkin@hotmail.com. Thank you, Happy Holidays.

Fermat 3 years ago

The information on the best treatment centers is really valuable. It's probably worthwhile to create a whole separate question just to highlight this information.

MRosenthal 3 years ago

Hi Jackie,

I'm glad we were able to connect a few months back, and hope your dad is doing well.

MRosenthal 3 years ago

Fermat, I will add that to the top of my list of more articles to write on FH.

jules a year ago

we live in England so I know you cannot give advice on treatment centres. my husband is treated at Christies and his consultant is very good, but I sometimes need answers and I do not know where to go. I also like to know what the signs are and how to help him. He refuses to go to the doctors unless it is his appointed day, even when he is not very well and I feel totally lost in how to help him.

MRosenthal a year ago

Hi Jules,

Everyone has their own way of fighting cancer... my wife too had her own way, her own stubbornness (which turned out to be a great ally in the fight!). One important thing you can do is to stay positive and keep flowing positive, inspiring, "I believe in you and your ability to beat this" thoughts to your husband. There is clear research that shows that attitude makes a difference in the outcome of a fight with melanoma. When someone is fighting cancer, no matter how strong they are, they still go through times when they doubt themselves... those are the times when they need someone the most to simply tell them, over and over again, "you can beat this." I'm sure you've read the survival statistics on the web, and maybe heard them from the doctors.... but I don't believe any of them. Not because i'm bad at math (au contraire, I have a degree in physics and engineering and went to the top business school in the US). Rather, its because those statistics are simply averages. And the reality is the most people don't fight very hard, and don't do the research (like looking on the melanoma treatment pages on this site) to make sure they have all of the tools they need in the fight. I guarantee the stats would be much, much better if everyone did that. So forget about the stats. Your husband can beat this!

Posted 3 years ago

One more thing. Don't ever believe anyone who tells you or your wife that she can't beat it, or the odds are against her, etc. She can beat this. Stay strong, do your research, fight hard, and you guys can win!

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jackiesorkin 3 years ago

GREAT! GREAT!

Posted 3 years ago

Hi Mr Rosenthal, thanks for advises and hope you create. I have a melanoma with metastasis in the liver, and some others elsewhere. The metastasis in the liver was extracted in October 2010 but unfortunately another one appeared there , in the liver, near the location of the first one. So Doctors convinced me to go for a systemic treatment. The characteristics of my metastasises are currently analysed to determine the systemiv treatment to apply. The problem is that these treatments are currently "clinical trials" and consequently if you sign for one of them you are not allowed anymore to apply other treatments in parallel (like vitamin, herbs etc...). Indeed the doctors and pharma companies want to be able to get statistics on the efficiency of the clinical trial drugs and protocols without the potential bias from the treatments in parallel. Do you have any suggestion for me , like music therapy, and if yes, which kind of music does not boost the growth of the melanoma metastasis while boosting my immune system for example ? Thanks in advance, answer can be sent to my email address: jvhstr@yahoo.com

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MRosenthal 3 years ago

Hi Jvhstr,

Absolutely, I believe the power of will can take you through life's toughest challenges. I will reach out to you over email.

Posted 3 years ago

My husband has melanoma. May I ask you some questions about the biochemical treatment your wife did?

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MRosenthal 3 years ago

Hi Christina,

Yes, absolutely. You can ask me here, or you can email me directly at: mikeyrosenrosen on yahoo email.

Mike

 
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