- November 10, 2018 at 5:13 am
I live in S. Korea and early this month my mother was diagnosed mucosal melanoma in the nose.
She had a nosebleed about 2 months ago and found a small lump on the neck a month ago. We did not think they were related, but they were.
Mucosal melanoma started in the nose and metastasized to the neck. No further metastasis has not been found yet.
Our doctor advised surgery and futher treatments.
We our family are afraid if she can overcome surgery. She is 82 years old and weak.
Is surgery indispensable for my mother? Or skip sugery and receive chemo / immunotherapy?
I could not find any cyber community for melanoma in S. Korea. So this site would be very helpful to me.
Julie in SoCalParticipant
- November 10, 2018 at 7:23 pm
I'm so sorry to hear about your mother! But I'm glad you've found us. I trust you'll find this group caring and a source of wisdom.
I can't say if surgery is indefensible. This is a decision your mother and family need to make. But the thinking behind surgery first is that surgery reduces the tumor burden and immunotherapy works best with a low tumor burden. And surgery is the best way to get rid of the tumors.
Maybe others here will chime in and give you more options. But this is what I know.
Will be praying that you and your family can talk well together about this.
- November 11, 2018 at 2:11 am
I think our ENT doctor is saying standard procedure, first his surgery to remove tumor and then others from oncologist. Our family would be more positive on surgery if she were in her sixties or younger. Tomorrow we will see our oncologist to ask if we can skip surgery. Thank you for support and praying for our family, which will lead us to good decision.
- November 10, 2018 at 8:13 pm
You might consider beginning with immunotherapy.
Surgery is more dangerous for old people than for young people. Immunotherapy works about as well for old people with melanoma as for young people. Since your mother’s melanoma has spread, surgery would not cure it. Many old people never recover from surgery with general anesthesia. I would ask for a second option from another doctor. Chemotherapy rarely helps control melanoma. Before immunotherapy was available, my aunt received chemotherapy for her melanoma. It did not help her. I do not recommend chemotherapy for an 82 year old woman. Immunotherapy might help. In 2016 at age 72 I had melanoma in many bones. Surgery was not an option, but immunotherapy made my bone cancer disappear.
- November 10, 2018 at 10:53 pm
Sorry about your mom. I understand its difficult. If you mom has no other major ailments, its a no brainer, I would remove it Its local area of concern in which no organs are involved. Elderly patients experience equal or more invasive procedures, in perticular the heart. Additionally we need more answers about immunotherapy for the elderly above age 65. Surgery, you go in and take it out. Immunotherapy, we wait and see. IMO, surgery is more of a sure thing. But thats me. Either way, its always a good thing to have options. Your mom will be ok!
- November 11, 2018 at 12:56 am
One study showed that people older than 65 with stage 4 melanoma responded to immunotherapy the same as people younger than 65. Another study found that people older than 65 with stage 4 melanoma responded better to immunotherapy than younger people did. Age 82 is not too old to perhaps benefit from immunotherapy for melanoma.
- November 11, 2018 at 1:05 am
Definitely get a second (and possibly third) opinion. Also, do you know what her prognosis is and what she wants? Wishing you all the best.
Tagged: mucosal melanoma
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