Mucosal Melanoma in African American


As an African American I was very shocked to receive the diagnosis because there is little to no awareness on this aggressive cancer for those of darker complexion. My first diagnosis was Dec 2012 of vaginal melanoma Stage III. I completed 4 months of chemo and was on a mission to bring awareness about this aggressive and rare cancer, so I shared my story everywhere. I was booked to sing "gospel ". To my surprise, on Nov. 29 2015 the cancer returned and is now metastatic melanoma in the lung. I am currently taking Keytruda and awaiting "Cryoablation procedure " where they freeze the tumor off. Unfortunately, I had fluid on the lung when they first attempted. Nov. 25th 2015 had CT scan done and it showed no fluid, but tumor is growing as well as the lympnodes. I am now waiting for biopsy appointment for the lymph nodes and the Cryoablation. I have a wonderful team of doctors at Houston MD Anderson and my faith keeps me fighting. I want to "change the face of melanoma". Bring more diverse awareness!

Sat, 2015-11-28


MelanomaMama - (2/22/2016 - 7:23pm)

Thank you for sharing your story Ina.  I hope you treatment is going well, and just wanted to send my  good wishes.

Maria C - (3/7/2016 - 5:43pm)

Ina, thanks so much for sharing your story. I too have mucosal melanoma and it's very rare to connect with someone else with this very aggressive form. In my case, I went from Stage III to Stage IV in a matter of weeks, it seems, or maybe I was already there from the hop as my first brain MRI showed mets. My body is mostly clear, but there was a lot of activity in my brain so have undergone two gamma knife procedures already.

Luckily you are at a top-notch facility for melanoma, MD Anderson. Have they discussed the ipi/nivo combo, instead of Keytruda alone? I've been told that's the best shot for Stage IV, mucosal or not....

Best of luck to you -

Maria - Stage IV, MM, brain mets, responder to ipi/nivo combo