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Stage 4 cancer spine and liver - advice and hope?

Stage 4 cancer spine and liver - advice and hope?

Posted By
7/7/2019 3:45am
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Replies: 8

Hi, my Dad was initially diagnosed with stage 2 cancer December 2018. He had a mole removed from his back and 2 lymph nodes. A lymph node showed a trace of melanoma, so further CT and MRI scans were performed. MRI shows small lesions in his liver and he has to have a further MRI as a possible spinal lesion has been found. He starts Opdivo/Yervoy combo tomorrow. My first question is there hope that the disease at this advanced stage can be beaten? Secondly, would a spinal lesion complicate things further in that further or additional treatment will be required? My family and I are just reeling and the news just keeps getting worse. Any hope and information will be gratefully received.

While I cannot respond to spine lesions but when my husband became Stage IV he had lesions in his liver, lungs, an inoperable lesion up at the C1, C2 Cervical Spine and several subcutaneous lesions. He was in a clinical trial for Ipi (yervoy) 10 mg/kg and GMCSF and has now been 7 years NED (no evidence of disease). You can read about his journey in his profile if you want.

Things are sometimes a little slow on weekends but hopefully more will chime in.

Judy the loving wife of Gene

Live 4 today. Thank God for all he has done for us. Looking forward to enjoying tomorrow.

Hi Judy, thank you so much for your response. I’m so pleased your husband has been NED for 7 years. Your story has really lifted our spirits. Do you have any advice for coping with this journey and anything my Dad can do to improve his outcome? We have looked into diet changes, lots of fresh vegetables, protein and yogurts, but we can’t really think what else to do.

I will look at your husband’s journey. Thank you again x

There is hope. The Opdivo/Yervoy combo helps about half the people with stage 4 melanoma who receive this immunotherapy. Be sure to contact your father’s doctor, if he has any worrying side effects from immunotherapy. I had very bad diarrhea after my first Opdivo/Yervoy infusion. I lost too much weight and needed to eat more high calorie food.

Hi, I was diagnosed with stage 4 with bone metastasis to my sacrum( 7 cm lesion) in April 2017. I began immunotherapy, Keytruda, and Xgeva for bone strengthening in May, I had radiation treatment to the area in May. My first PET scans in July showed reduced activity in my sacrum. Several small bone lesions appeared in thoracic and pelvic areas but were gone by my next scans. Other than dealing with some arthritis style pain I have experienced just a few minor side effects. My status currently is no evidence of progression. I am hoping your Dad sees the rapid improvement as I did.
Best Wishes to You, your Dad and your Family.

When my melanoma first metastasised, I had lesions in my lungs, right adrenal gland, liver, subcutaneous, and on my spine. I started treatment on Keytruda and all but my lung and liver lesions disappeared. I later got a 3 cm tumor in my bladder that was surgically removed. I also had 2 left axillary lymph nodes that had melanoma develop and keep growing. I also developed a lesion on L4.. I was able to take 2 treatments of Opdivo/Yervoy but ended up allergic to Yervoy. I took Opdivo for several months and was then accepted into a clinical trial at the University of Virginia which consisted of a melanoma vaccine that they developed along with Tafinlar/Mekinist targeted therapy. The lesions on my liver and lungs have been stable for 2 years and are very small. The lesion on L4 is scarred and stable. One lymph node is gone, so to speak and the other is disappearing and the tissue is considered dead. I am still on a regimen of Tafinlar/Mekinist. I have been blessed to not suffer any side effects except fatigue and some joint and muscle pain. I am losing all of the pigment in my skin so I have to be very careful of the sun and it looks ugly but I am alive!
I am sorry your father and family have to go through this. There is hope! There are more treatments available now than when a lot of people on this forum started their journeys! Keep a positive attitude, ask questions on here and stay strong! It is very scary but you are not alone! My best wishes for your father!


Thank you everyone for your replies. I am sorry that you have had to endure this terrible disease, but your stories have given us inspiration and hope. My Dad is expecting some side effects from the drugs, but I hope with our love and support and the support of medical staff at the treatment centre he can get through it.

You must take care of yourself and take a proper prescription from your doctor.

Brenda Anderson

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Brenda Anderson