- August 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm
I don’t have acral melanoma, but mine did start in my leg, and I had an ILP in 2007. I recurred a year later near the same spot. BTW, it took me a full year to recover from the ILP, and although I am fully mobile, I have permanent nerve damage to my leg (numbness), and I wear a compression stocking every day to control swelling.
I also did consider amputation, and consulted several mel specialists about it. Dr Agarwala explained it best. He said that although melanoma occurs locally at first, it’s really a systemic disease once a recurrence has happened. It’s just that it’s too microscopic to detect. At the time, my tumors were all in my lower leg, but Dr A said that if I were to amputate, even up to the hip, he could guarantee that I would have a recurrence in the stump within 6 months. And he was right. Two months later, I had developed a mel met in my uterus, two mos after that, my breast, three mos later, my lung, and four mos later, my brain. I don’t mean to scare you, as Jerry may be totally different, and may not develop a systemic met for years. But my point is that an amputation will only destroy his quality of life, and all for nothing. The mel is in his system, but is too small to be detected, so you have to work at beating it back and making sure it doesn’t advance.
I’d stick with whatever systemic treatment works. What chemo is he on now? Has he tried ipilimimab? Has he had a genetic profile done to see if he has the BRAF mutation? There are plenty of options yet to try, not to mention new ones that will surface along the way. Best of luck to you and Jerry.