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.
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.
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
My husband has melanoma. May I ask you some questions about the biochemical treatment your wife did?