Home Forums Melanoma: Stage III Interferon Alfa-2B

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  • #21526
    dach333
    Participant

    Hi Everyone, I would love to know whether people took Interferon when it was offered and why. I do have auto-immune issues and the documentation suggests that IF I take Interferon, I need to be very careful with dosing and testing. Have others with auto-immune issues taken Interferon and what has been your experience with it? Even if you don’t have auto-immune issues, what has been your experience with Interferon treatments?

    Right now, I’m leaning towards not taking it. I’m not sure if the benefits would be enough to outweigh my potential risks.

    Thanks,

    David

    #62202
    judgar2012
    Participant

    My husband took it for 1 year. in 2011. he felt if he didn’t take it and it does come back he didn’t give it his all. and that was all that was offer. He had nodular melanoma 7.5 deep. and in his lymph node. it was a rough year but he did it. he even went to work too. at g.m. you have to drink lots and lots of water. you take motrin then 2 hours later you take tynanol. the longer your on it you do feel a little better. in fact when he went off at the end of the year he felt uneasy. he felt like that he was a little safe on it. he has been doing good now no sign of melanoma right now. any questions just ask and I will try to answer.

    #62203
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Please look back on our previous discussions. I like to refer to a large study with Paul Chapman, from Sloan Kettering commenting and discussing. The important paragraph of their analysis is as follows:

    Quote:

    What does all this mean to the patient? It means that, among patients destined to recur, a year’s worth of HD IFN treatment can delay the time of recurrence in a small subset, although for half of these patients this delay will be less than 1 year. However, the overall chance of recurrence and the overall survival is not improved. This means that, if the patient is destined to relapse and die of melanoma, HD IFN does not affect this nor does it significantly delay the time of death.


    So I would consider this study before taking the drug.

    #62204
    Annieo
    Participant

    Hi David.

    I was diagnosed with Melanoma, Stage IIIb last November. I also have an auto-immune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am living in Ireland and was not offered Interferon. I was told that the watch-and-wait treatment was the best way forward for my stage, as Interferon has so many side effects and there is no proof that it changes end results. I am confident now with my decision to watch and wait.

    As regards my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I am working hard on my mobility by attending regular physiotherapy sessions, exercising (gently), resting, avoiding stress etc… and I am trying to eat healthy. In other words I had to significantly change my lifestyle. I have been out of work, as a school teacher, for almost a year now. I had been through a tough year last year with the diagnoses of both melanoma and rheumatoid arthritis. I am happy now that I am living life at a pace that my body is coping with. I still have chronic pain but to a much lesser degree now. I believe that quality of life is the important thing for me now, having learnt so many lessons from melanoma. In a way, I am glad that I don’t feel ‘sick now’ and can put melanoma behind me some bit. I would love to get back to work at some level. I know that if I had had chemo or interferon I would be presently living through the side-effects of these drugs, and both would also be daily reminders of cancer.

    All that said, I do wish chemo was an option for us melanoma patients, as it is for other cancers and I wish interferon was more successful for us. I try not to think about the fact that luck will play a big part in my prognosis. I suppose we live in hope that we will be one of the lucky ones. Looking after my mind, body and spirit is the best I can do for myself now. I am trying to do this

    As for your dilemma, it is very hard to know what’s best to do. If we had the right answer it would be easy! But there doesn’t seem to be a right answer for Melanoma Stage III.

    Best wishes with your decision. I think that living with an auto-immune disease is a daily challenge in itself and it is important to look after that too. In some ways, that has much more an effect on my day to day life, even though it is Melanoma that is the big one. Take care.

    Anne

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