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Radiation for melanoma in brain

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2007

My husband (60 yr) noticed a lump in his left groin back in July. He has been through surgery to remove the original lump (malignant melanoma) and again in September to remove all remaining lymph nodes in the groin area. No point of origin was ever found for the melanoma.
He had CTs, PET scans and a brain MRI. Everything was clear except for the MRI that showed 2 very small lesions with no edema so the Drs did not think they were part of the melanoma.
In preparation for beginning interfuron treatment this week, one last MRI was done to make sure the brain lesions had not changed.
The latest MRI showed that the two lesions had tripled in size and several others are now visible (8 weeks later). All showed edema. This puts him from stage 3 to stage 4.
He begins whole brain radiation tomorrow. This will be 10 treatments, some time to recoup, then follow with direct radiation on the two larger lesions.
Has anyone had experience with radiation treatment for melanoma that has metastasized in the brain?
My husband has been in excellent health, feels well, strong and active.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006


I encourage you to do a search of the CSN website by entering key words such as "melanoma" and "brain" in the search bar at the top of the page. If you find someone you would like to contact, you can do so through the internal CSN email system. For more information on all of the CSN functions, click on the help link at the top of the page.

I wish your husband the best on his treatmen.

Take care and be well,

CSN Dana

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2006

Sorry I haven't replied sooner. I see this is back from October. How's your husband doing? My mom had full brain radiation and gamma knife back in 2006. She tolerated the full brain radiation well.

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2007

Hi, Thanks for posting on this page. My husband had whole brain and stereotactic radiation. He had problems with fatigue, loss of taste and dry mouth. Those things are getting better now. We will not have the MRI results until March (hate the waiting). He has developed several skin tumors as of late..he is taking Temodar and Thalidomide. We just go day by day and try to keep our chin up. How is your Mom? Did she have to have WBR more than once? Again, thanks for posting.

skinner's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2007

I know this response below is long but please do read and lets talk some. I also would like to find
some friends to talk to because this is so much to go through and talking it out with others in the same boat is allot better to the mind. You can always email me to at ; eyesofice2us@yahoo.com
Hope to hear from you and hope I dont bore you with my story below:) I am setting up a forum for us cancer people to go to and just talk.
July 2007. I noticed a lump on my back right shoulder blade because it would bother my sleeping and driving, a lump I mean the size of a golf ball. So I made appointment with Primary Dr. He sent me to a surgeon and that surgeon said it seems to be a fatty tumor, shouldnt bother me but I insisted to have it removed. It was removed a week later and next day my Primary called me at 8pm to tell me results that if was stuffed full of melanoma cells and they will have to go back in and cut all around it. I said sure will do lets get it going. So he then sends me way down south to a big cancer hospital where by then it was a month later and another lump has started growing about 3 inches away from where the last one was. This Dr. at new hospital takes it out, cuts out about 4 pounds of meat from around last incision Takes out 5 limp nodes from around back and arm pit.
Tells me there was no cells in armpit nodes but were a little tiny bit in node on top of shoulder but they got it all. BUT, I have it in my blood system.
Theyre going to start me with INTERFURON in 30 days. In that 30 days about on day 17 I start having seizures, small ones at first and I am totally awake all through, (actually I at first thought they were just muscle spasms and was kinda funny) couple days later I have a Grand mal and was not as funny, Still I didnt black out But my wife called ambulance, my 3 fingers on right hand went totally numb and still are. Hospital all thought I may have had a stroke even though we told them I have stage 4 cancer and to check my brain. They didnt, they sent me home!..Next day I went to my Primary Dr and he ordered a MRI of brain and sure enough, theres that baby on top left side deep about 1&1/2 inches in.
It was about the size of a triple A battery, lot of swelling and they set up operation in 4 days. By the time 4 days came and they took it out it had grown to the size of now a D cell battery! The surgeon said another week and would not be able to get it all but they did, he stated now.
Finally NOW I am able to start my INTERFURON. 10-22-07. Its been 5 month since diagnosed, 4 surgeries, 352 stitches and staples ago and I am plowing through. Will Beat this and show all that this can be done. With the help of many prayer chains and I being prayer over. 10-29-07 first week in chemo and doing ok. Must admit this interferon is tuff, Got to find a better way to eat. Do not feel as if food is any good hehe. Will work it out, You can to with what ever they throw at you, Jan. 23rd. Tumor found in top of right hand. Taken out next day, 5 more stitches, ( I am feeling like a rag doll) hehe. Keep a positive attitude,
HEY AN UPDATE! I Just found a drink that is helping allot! I dont really want to post because I dont want to sound like many others you will hear saying OH do this or Hey do that! BUT, I can say and want others to know that this drink I am taking is helping me. it's is giving me energy that Chemo took away and By GOSH I have now had 2 clean PET scans!! YEA!!!
Its called AMLA RUSH from www.myseriesse.com/agelessbeauty
now with that, God, the bible--Which I believe has a whole lot to do with it. Dr. Say, most would have not made it this far.
Yesterday I was out walking a mile... Go Figure/ Yes God is watching over me. I got his back and he has mine!!
Mike Barbour.
25195 2nd. Ave.Los Molinos, California. 96055
email me if you would like, I want to be able to talk to as many real cancer people as I can because it does help me in mind and soul.

Blair84's picture
Posts: 45
Joined: Jan 2010

You are so strong, great attitude. I wish I was like that, I was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma last week....I'm freaked out..also waiting for results from my mole biopsy....
Good luck to you

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

My 58 year old husband has 3 malignant brain tumors and melanoma in chest wall. Had one tumor removed, gamma knifed the others. Took gall bladder out as it was there also. he is on chemo on week with temodar, interferon next week, then week of rest (3 week cycles) for 24 weeks. Were on wk. 1 of 2nd cycle -- so tough!!!!! Had MRI today -- need to look at the tumors. He had a spot on his back 13 years ago, had it removed -- checked as should have and never really thought anything else about it. We are truly in God's hands -- he's so weak, nauseaus, no hair, so sick. Anybody out there with similar situation. We are so concerned about seizures -- constantly doing neuro checks. Hate melanoma.

Anonymous user (not verified)

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Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2009

Cyberknife..It is a more focused radiation and saves more tissue from damage. There are many other names of similar equipment but if you research Cyberknife on line you will get a good understanding of what it can do. I am setting it up for a mass in my liver that Dr's wont touch.


Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2012

My dad, 70, okay health had brain melanoma. However, when they started with the 10 radiation treatments, there were some positive but many negative results. I would not suggest this if you are in stage 3 or 4, just live as long as you can, without the extra hassle of the problems the radiation will bring. Instead I had wish my dad just peacefully liveed the last days without the ill effects that radiation produced, as it brought no benefit in terms of timespan he would live, but brought only added discomfort and problems to cope cope with on top of his melanoma. I will explain in detail: My dad was very athletic for his age, playing soccer, tennis, and walking a lot all of his life. At 70, his calves rivaled any young bodybuilder, and he had energy all day for his reading and other engineering activities. Ten years ago, he had a cancerous mole, melanoma, not larger than the end of a pencil eraser. That was removed, along with his skin to the bone to be sure. Then the follow-up checkups, scans, etc.. he had one lymph node removed in his leg I believe, then another removed 9 years later in his lower esophagus (that was major surgery as they had to go in through the ribs). He recovered, no sign of cancer, then a year later his legs occasionally had seizure when playing tennis. He went to the doctor one night after not being able to remember his iPhone code. A brain scan revealed 20 malignant lessions. The docs recommended 10 radiation treatments. Mind you at this time, he could walk, talk, was a bit off mentally, just suddenly after the brain seizures, but under medication, he got terribly worse. He acted beligerant, angry, could not talk in English (only his native tongue) as the cancer had gotten to his communication area, was not 100% himself, more like 70-80% himself. When he had the drugs reduced, he was more normal, although he still couldn't talk as much. But he could write, and he could walk. In a drugged state, without anyone else in the family present, he consented to 10 radiation treatments. The result, he lost capability to walk, lost his hair, regained his speech, however, the radiation caused a problem as I mentioned with the legs, so he was now in terrible pain. We are not sure why this occurred, we did not receive adequate explanation. The radiation treatments were to gain a few more months of life, and the prognosis was grim to start, no cure. However, in the end, he still only lived one month, the estimated time after 3\4 melanoma brain cancer. When he lost his ability to walk, he was super sad. His passion at the last stage of his life would have been to talk calm walks, play soccer with his grandson, and simply be able to walk to the edge of the water. He loved the outdoors and this would have been better time spent than being forced to deal with an even worse symptoms and recovery than what the radiation posed for him. This along with his hair loss, which aged him significantly, and his pain, which meant he was on constant pain medication, sent him overboard. His health deteriorated very quickly as he could not walk and the pain medication and radiation took away his appetite, and then sleeping all the time, it was only a matter of time. We did have a few nice days with the family before he had a last brain seizure (possibly brain ebolism or stroke) that sent him to a non-speaking, non-responsive state, only breathing, not eating. Within a few days he was gone. The story from another woman in regards to brain radiation is similar. My friend's mom died after the second brain radiation after a blood vessel broke or opened. I think the fact that my dad was convinced of this while under medication, and without his wife or family there (wife was flying home during the first incident), really speaks to the controversial nature of this procedure. It's not recommended in the last phase in my opinion. Also my dad wanted to stop at 4 or 5 treatments, begging to stop, but was convinced to keep going. Not sure what the round number implies, maybe that it fits neatly into a science project to be classified and scaled correctly, but it's not a good model in terms of individual patient requirements.

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