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  •  My brother has Stage IV melanoma. (4+ / 0-)

    He's in South Carolina and is getting treatment through the VA. He waited too long to see a doc about a 'thing' behind his ear that itched and he scratched it until it bled. (His words). That was over a year ago. Now he's terminal, spread to the liver and other places, despite him being on interferon since last Jan. or so.

    BTW, he's the 3rd person in the last two years that I've heard of -- who had the initial site of melanoma behind his ear.... warning to all -- use sunscreen behind and on your ears! Two of those people are dead already. Melanoma is gruesome, other than surgical removal at the original site, there are no good confirmed treatments.

    To cv lurking gf -- what was the drug and how did you get in to the study? And I'm happy to read that you're doing OK. And your advice to Bugsydarlin is appropriate.

    We'd like to get my brother in to a study, choice being in Soth Carolina or in the Baltimore/DC area.


    •  So sorry about your brother. A couple of (0+ / 0-)

      years after I finished, I heard Duke decided it was ineffective. It was a vaccine of sorts, initially a mix of the TB vaccine and radiated melanoma cells, one a month for 3 months, then straight radiated melanoma cells for the last 4 months. You may already know the top research is in Australia, due to the large amount of Irish descendents (Ireland has 5-7 times the rate of melanoma as England: sounds genetic to me), and the sub-tropical environment, so more sun exposure. Duke was at the forefront of melanoma studies; don't know if that's still true. I had it twenty-four years ago and had lymph nodes removal. It had not moved into organs. It is one of the most aggressive cancers, but it can just go away. My uncle had a case in the military of a soldier's wife who had it in much of her organs. He and another surgeon operated on her and removed as much as they could without destroying her body's ability to function. He figured she had less than six months, but was transferred so he couldn't follow the case (this was in the early fifties). He ran into the other surgeon at a conference in the late sixties and asked about her, because she stuck in his mind. The other doctor told him the melanoma disappeared, and that she had recently died of leukemia, a quite different disease, though still a cancer (I think he said he was told 1968). Of course, this woman was incredibly lucky.

      Check Duke. Also, another friend with aggressive breast cancer went to Europe after being given less than six months here. (We raised money for her trips and treatment.) She had some combination of heat and chemo. The premise was that by heating her whole body - she had it in organs and her bones - the juvenile blood vessels put out by the cancer, feeding it, would collapse. Then she'd be hit with chemo to further weaken the cancer. It did regress and she lived another two and a half years, long enough to marry her longtime boyfriend and live by the ocean. I found some information on it at this link.

      I try to look for the positive and be hopeful, while realizing life happens, as does death. I wish the best of luck to you and your brother. My thoughts are with you and your family.

      "Until death it is all life." Don Quixote

      by cv lurking gf on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:40:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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