I understand how difficult it can be to make decisions about your therapy if you have been diagnosed with melanoma that has spread beyond the original site. You will be compelled to think about challenging issues such as your length of life and your quality of life.
Please understand that “completion lymph-node dissection” will not lead to longer life and may very will lead to lower quality of life according to the studies linked and excerpted below.
When I was originally diagnosed with my “incurable” cancer I did whatever my oncologist recommended that I do. Unfortunately every therapy Dr. Berger pushed led to only months of life and lots of long-term and late stage side effects.
It was a non-conventional therapy that put me into complete remission in 1999. Which is why I urge you to learn about evidence-based, non-conventional melanoma therapies. If your melanoma has spread beyond the original site, yes, you much seriously consider chemotherapy. But also consider evidence-based integrative therapies to enhance the efficacy of that chemotherapy in addition to evidence-based anti-melanoma, botanicals, nutrition, etc.
Have you been diagnosed with melanoma? What therapies are you considering? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“CONCLUSION-Immediate completion lymph-node dissection increased the rate of regional disease control and provided prognostic information but did not increase melanoma-specific survival among patients with melanoma and sentinel-node metastases…”
“Patients who receive the standard surgical treatment for melanoma that has spread to one or more key lymph nodes do not live longer, a major new study shows…
The study, published today in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that immediately removing and performing biopsies on all lymph nodes located near the original tumor, a procedure called completion lymph node dissection, did not result in increased overall survival rates.
…the most important question facing physicians and those newly diagnosed with the disease: whether patients who have melanoma cells in a limited number of lymph nodes should undergo extensive surgery to remove all the remaining nodes in that area of the body. The results of the new research suggest they do not…
Additionally, nearly 25 percent of the patients who underwent the completion dissections suffered from lymphedema, compared with about 6 percent of the control group, the study found. Lymphedema is swelling that may result when lymph nodes are damaged or removed. Symptoms include hardening of the skin, infections and restricted range of motion.
“This is a larger operation that has a higher risk of complications,” Faries said, “including wound infection and nerve damage…”