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Diagnosed with Malegnant Melanoma stage three. On intravenous interferon, unable to take it. Suggestions?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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My husband just completed 4 weeks of interferon intraveinously for Malegnant Melanoma stage III. He is considering not going on with the 43-44 weeks of the interferon shots. It's been really rough on him. What would you advised him?
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Radhika 2 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I am sorry to hear to hear that your husband is suffering from malignant melanoma.

Since he has completed 4 weeks of interferon therapy intravenously he has completed the Induction course, which is a high dosage and hence higher side effects.
But now you have to undergo the maintenance phase, where he has to inject a lower dose of IFN (Interferon) at home 3 times per week for 43 to 44 weeks. It is injected just under the skin (subcutaneously), usually in the thigh or abdomen. He will need supportive care to go through this.

He might be free from the disease but there is high risk for recurrence (the tumor coming back). IFN is the only medication for people with high-risk malignant melanoma that has been shown to improve both relapse-free survival (living without the disease coming back) and overall survival. So do not stop it.

If he has flu like symptoms you could give him Tablet. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) twice a day after food. Drink plenty of fluids, eat balanced meals. Focus on the positive.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available follow up queries.

Wishing you good health.

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