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don’ t most stage 3 people advance to stage 4?

Forums General Melanoma Community don’ t most stage 3 people advance to stage 4?

  • Post
    momof4boys
    Participant
      I have been coming to this site for about 7 months and have gotten tons of info. In fact because of what I learned on this site I decided to try the IPI/interferon trial. I had initially thought against it because of the 10 mg arm. I actually changed my mind at about 9 pm the night beforeiI was to go have my picc line put in and start interferon. I was fortunate enough to get the IPI 3 mg arm. With that being said, I have also noticed that most people with stage 3 progress to stage 4 eventually. Do those of you that have been a part of this for a long time agree with that? I know things have changed a lot in the last few years but I would just like you to share your knowledge. I was diagnosed by a pa in my local med center. I could tell she didn’t look confident so I asked her nurse, I was her first at biopsying. Anyways 3.8 mm nodular melanoma on calf, not clean margins. Ulcerated. Mitotic greater than 1/mm2. Had clnd only the sentinel node was positive. How likely us it that I will advance at some point? Stage 3 b currently
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    • Replies
        JC
        Participant

          if most people with stage 3 progress to stage 4 eventually, what does that say for stage 1 people?  if you progress from stage 1, you go to stage 3.  and if most with stage 3 progress to stage 4 eventually, then if you progress from stage 1, you'll eventually be 4

          JC
          Participant

            if most people with stage 3 progress to stage 4 eventually, what does that say for stage 1 people?  if you progress from stage 1, you go to stage 3.  and if most with stage 3 progress to stage 4 eventually, then if you progress from stage 1, you'll eventually be 4

            JC
            Participant

              if most people with stage 3 progress to stage 4 eventually, what does that say for stage 1 people?  if you progress from stage 1, you go to stage 3.  and if most with stage 3 progress to stage 4 eventually, then if you progress from stage 1, you'll eventually be 4

              akls
              Participant

                I really don't have an answer other than I know that I was thinking that same thing when I first came to this site five years ago.  What I DO know is that you can't compare your situation with anyone else.  I'm stage IIIA been that way for a little over five years now.  Will I advance?  don't know.  I do know that I'm doing everything in my power not to.  I know people who have advanced 15 years after a stage I and I know people 25 years clean from stage who knows because it was before they were accurately staging melanoma.  I personally feel like if you can keep your immune system strong that is the best defense.  I did a year of interferon but that's the only treatment I've had. It's all just scary to think about, that's why  I try not to much anymore.  I totally understand why you are worried I was there a little different stage than you but I felt that same doubt.  I also know that my goal to see my daughter graduate will be met this May.  There is hope there are many many survivors out there not on this board living their lives.  We don't hear much from them but that's good. 

                Amy in Michigan

                akls
                Participant

                  I really don't have an answer other than I know that I was thinking that same thing when I first came to this site five years ago.  What I DO know is that you can't compare your situation with anyone else.  I'm stage IIIA been that way for a little over five years now.  Will I advance?  don't know.  I do know that I'm doing everything in my power not to.  I know people who have advanced 15 years after a stage I and I know people 25 years clean from stage who knows because it was before they were accurately staging melanoma.  I personally feel like if you can keep your immune system strong that is the best defense.  I did a year of interferon but that's the only treatment I've had. It's all just scary to think about, that's why  I try not to much anymore.  I totally understand why you are worried I was there a little different stage than you but I felt that same doubt.  I also know that my goal to see my daughter graduate will be met this May.  There is hope there are many many survivors out there not on this board living their lives.  We don't hear much from them but that's good. 

                  Amy in Michigan

                  akls
                  Participant

                    I really don't have an answer other than I know that I was thinking that same thing when I first came to this site five years ago.  What I DO know is that you can't compare your situation with anyone else.  I'm stage IIIA been that way for a little over five years now.  Will I advance?  don't know.  I do know that I'm doing everything in my power not to.  I know people who have advanced 15 years after a stage I and I know people 25 years clean from stage who knows because it was before they were accurately staging melanoma.  I personally feel like if you can keep your immune system strong that is the best defense.  I did a year of interferon but that's the only treatment I've had. It's all just scary to think about, that's why  I try not to much anymore.  I totally understand why you are worried I was there a little different stage than you but I felt that same doubt.  I also know that my goal to see my daughter graduate will be met this May.  There is hope there are many many survivors out there not on this board living their lives.  We don't hear much from them but that's good. 

                    Amy in Michigan

                    Janner
                    Participant

                      Under the old stats and going from memory, about 50% of stage III progress.  About 1/3 of stage III will never see melanoma again regardless if they do Interferon or "watch and wait".  Remember, I'm saying older stats and IPI wasn't part of that equation). 

                      You must take into account your audience.  If you're stage III and doing well (not progressing), is there that same motivation to stick around and post on a melanoma BB?  1 year out?  3 years out?  It seems more productive to go live life.  That is the same for every stage – the BB is a magnet to the "exceptions" because the ones who do well often times move on.  So just remember that this board is not a good representation of real life statistics.

                      Janner

                      Janner
                      Participant

                        Under the old stats and going from memory, about 50% of stage III progress.  About 1/3 of stage III will never see melanoma again regardless if they do Interferon or "watch and wait".  Remember, I'm saying older stats and IPI wasn't part of that equation). 

                        You must take into account your audience.  If you're stage III and doing well (not progressing), is there that same motivation to stick around and post on a melanoma BB?  1 year out?  3 years out?  It seems more productive to go live life.  That is the same for every stage – the BB is a magnet to the "exceptions" because the ones who do well often times move on.  So just remember that this board is not a good representation of real life statistics.

                        Janner

                        Janner
                        Participant

                          Under the old stats and going from memory, about 50% of stage III progress.  About 1/3 of stage III will never see melanoma again regardless if they do Interferon or "watch and wait".  Remember, I'm saying older stats and IPI wasn't part of that equation). 

                          You must take into account your audience.  If you're stage III and doing well (not progressing), is there that same motivation to stick around and post on a melanoma BB?  1 year out?  3 years out?  It seems more productive to go live life.  That is the same for every stage – the BB is a magnet to the "exceptions" because the ones who do well often times move on.  So just remember that this board is not a good representation of real life statistics.

                          Janner

                          POW
                          Participant

                            I had the same thought as Janner. The number of people here who were stage III and progressed to stage  IV is skewed– people who were stage III but never progressed tend to get busy with their lives and stop posting here. So reading this forum tends to highlight those who progressed.

                            Whether your probability of progressing to stage IV is 10% or 90% your day-to-day activities will be pretty much the same. Do what you can medically. Keep your immune system healthy with a good diet and regular exercise and perhaps add a nutritional supplement or two. And hang on to your positive mental attitude. But statistics alone are not going to help much with your life decisions.

                            While we tend to ask the question: "What are the chances of my cancer recurring?" or "What are my chances for progressing to stage IV?" what we are really asking is: "Will I die? And if so, when?" The uncerainty of it all makes everything much harder to deal with than if we knew for sure that we would die in the "median" number months that the statistics tell us. Should you plan to have another baby or not? Keep working and save for retirement or quit work, cash in your nest egg and have a heck of a good time while you can? And what if you get it wrong? What if you blow your nest egg and then don't die?! OMG, what then??!! Yes, it's the uncertainty that makes the anxiety so much worse. And, really, statistics can't ease that anxiety. 

                            Just the other day, Mat posted a link to a really good essay in the New York Times titled: "How Long Have I Got Left?". I strongly suggest that you read the essay and then the other posts in that thread here. I think the most insightful line in the essay is: "The angst of facing mortality has no remedy in probability."

                             

                            POW
                            Participant

                              I had the same thought as Janner. The number of people here who were stage III and progressed to stage  IV is skewed– people who were stage III but never progressed tend to get busy with their lives and stop posting here. So reading this forum tends to highlight those who progressed.

                              Whether your probability of progressing to stage IV is 10% or 90% your day-to-day activities will be pretty much the same. Do what you can medically. Keep your immune system healthy with a good diet and regular exercise and perhaps add a nutritional supplement or two. And hang on to your positive mental attitude. But statistics alone are not going to help much with your life decisions.

                              While we tend to ask the question: "What are the chances of my cancer recurring?" or "What are my chances for progressing to stage IV?" what we are really asking is: "Will I die? And if so, when?" The uncerainty of it all makes everything much harder to deal with than if we knew for sure that we would die in the "median" number months that the statistics tell us. Should you plan to have another baby or not? Keep working and save for retirement or quit work, cash in your nest egg and have a heck of a good time while you can? And what if you get it wrong? What if you blow your nest egg and then don't die?! OMG, what then??!! Yes, it's the uncertainty that makes the anxiety so much worse. And, really, statistics can't ease that anxiety. 

                              Just the other day, Mat posted a link to a really good essay in the New York Times titled: "How Long Have I Got Left?". I strongly suggest that you read the essay and then the other posts in that thread here. I think the most insightful line in the essay is: "The angst of facing mortality has no remedy in probability."

                               

                              POW
                              Participant

                                I had the same thought as Janner. The number of people here who were stage III and progressed to stage  IV is skewed– people who were stage III but never progressed tend to get busy with their lives and stop posting here. So reading this forum tends to highlight those who progressed.

                                Whether your probability of progressing to stage IV is 10% or 90% your day-to-day activities will be pretty much the same. Do what you can medically. Keep your immune system healthy with a good diet and regular exercise and perhaps add a nutritional supplement or two. And hang on to your positive mental attitude. But statistics alone are not going to help much with your life decisions.

                                While we tend to ask the question: "What are the chances of my cancer recurring?" or "What are my chances for progressing to stage IV?" what we are really asking is: "Will I die? And if so, when?" The uncerainty of it all makes everything much harder to deal with than if we knew for sure that we would die in the "median" number months that the statistics tell us. Should you plan to have another baby or not? Keep working and save for retirement or quit work, cash in your nest egg and have a heck of a good time while you can? And what if you get it wrong? What if you blow your nest egg and then don't die?! OMG, what then??!! Yes, it's the uncertainty that makes the anxiety so much worse. And, really, statistics can't ease that anxiety. 

                                Just the other day, Mat posted a link to a really good essay in the New York Times titled: "How Long Have I Got Left?". I strongly suggest that you read the essay and then the other posts in that thread here. I think the most insightful line in the essay is: "The angst of facing mortality has no remedy in probability."

                                 

                                [email protected]
                                Participant

                                  I was dx @ stage 3 back in May, 2000. I went through a year of Interferon. To this day, I have NOT progressed to stage 4. It will be 14 years since my dx at the end of May. As a long time MPIP fan and a former MRF board member, I too believe Janner is correct. So many people, regardless of initial stage when dx, that have been fortunate enough to not progress to the next stage, don't frequent the board as much as those who have a need for information or a bond with someone going through the same thing. Although I read the board every day, I seldom post unless I feel I have something of importance to say. I know it's hard to believe, but as time goes on, the fear becomes less and less. Best of luck in your treatment!

                                  Take care!

                                  Cara Tindell

                                  [email protected]
                                  Participant

                                    I was dx @ stage 3 back in May, 2000. I went through a year of Interferon. To this day, I have NOT progressed to stage 4. It will be 14 years since my dx at the end of May. As a long time MPIP fan and a former MRF board member, I too believe Janner is correct. So many people, regardless of initial stage when dx, that have been fortunate enough to not progress to the next stage, don't frequent the board as much as those who have a need for information or a bond with someone going through the same thing. Although I read the board every day, I seldom post unless I feel I have something of importance to say. I know it's hard to believe, but as time goes on, the fear becomes less and less. Best of luck in your treatment!

                                    Take care!

                                    Cara Tindell

                                    [email protected]
                                    Participant

                                      I was dx @ stage 3 back in May, 2000. I went through a year of Interferon. To this day, I have NOT progressed to stage 4. It will be 14 years since my dx at the end of May. As a long time MPIP fan and a former MRF board member, I too believe Janner is correct. So many people, regardless of initial stage when dx, that have been fortunate enough to not progress to the next stage, don't frequent the board as much as those who have a need for information or a bond with someone going through the same thing. Although I read the board every day, I seldom post unless I feel I have something of importance to say. I know it's hard to believe, but as time goes on, the fear becomes less and less. Best of luck in your treatment!

                                      Take care!

                                      Cara Tindell

                                      Colleen66
                                      Participant

                                        I have to agree with the above comments.  I am 3b and and bit over 1 year out.  I read the board everyday and very rarely reply.  Even though I do not know any of these members personally, I feel involved in their journeys. I cry when one loses their battle and celebrate when another has sucess.  I still have scanxiety but I also live life to the fullest.  Melanoma will always be a part of my life, it has changed me forever.  

                                        Colleen66
                                        Participant

                                          I have to agree with the above comments.  I am 3b and and bit over 1 year out.  I read the board everyday and very rarely reply.  Even though I do not know any of these members personally, I feel involved in their journeys. I cry when one loses their battle and celebrate when another has sucess.  I still have scanxiety but I also live life to the fullest.  Melanoma will always be a part of my life, it has changed me forever.  

                                          Colleen66
                                          Participant

                                            I have to agree with the above comments.  I am 3b and and bit over 1 year out.  I read the board everyday and very rarely reply.  Even though I do not know any of these members personally, I feel involved in their journeys. I cry when one loses their battle and celebrate when another has sucess.  I still have scanxiety but I also live life to the fullest.  Melanoma will always be a part of my life, it has changed me forever.  

                                            Lana R
                                            Participant

                                              I have been Stage 3C for 16 years and have not progressed to Stage 4. I had a supposedly benign mole removed on my left shoulder in 1986. I had 3 matted positive nodes removed in my left axilla in 1997 making me Stage 3C. I was in a Phase 1 vaccine trial at NIH in Bethesda, MD in 1998. There were 38 of us in the trial and there are 3 of us left. The trial did not go on to Phase 2. One male in the trial is now age 66 and has been Stage 4 for over 20 years. Melanoma is very unpredictable but not everyone advances. See your doctor and be vigilent, but enjoy every day of your life!

                                              Lana R
                                              Participant

                                                I have been Stage 3C for 16 years and have not progressed to Stage 4. I had a supposedly benign mole removed on my left shoulder in 1986. I had 3 matted positive nodes removed in my left axilla in 1997 making me Stage 3C. I was in a Phase 1 vaccine trial at NIH in Bethesda, MD in 1998. There were 38 of us in the trial and there are 3 of us left. The trial did not go on to Phase 2. One male in the trial is now age 66 and has been Stage 4 for over 20 years. Melanoma is very unpredictable but not everyone advances. See your doctor and be vigilent, but enjoy every day of your life!

                                                Lana R
                                                Participant

                                                  I have been Stage 3C for 16 years and have not progressed to Stage 4. I had a supposedly benign mole removed on my left shoulder in 1986. I had 3 matted positive nodes removed in my left axilla in 1997 making me Stage 3C. I was in a Phase 1 vaccine trial at NIH in Bethesda, MD in 1998. There were 38 of us in the trial and there are 3 of us left. The trial did not go on to Phase 2. One male in the trial is now age 66 and has been Stage 4 for over 20 years. Melanoma is very unpredictable but not everyone advances. See your doctor and be vigilent, but enjoy every day of your life!

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