I was diagnosed a year ago with stage IIIB Melanoma and went through interferon. Don't plan to do much during the first month or daily treatments. I had all the side effects including migraine headaches. My oncologist also prescribed zofran and phenegren. I would alternate taking these drugs every 2hrs. When you move to the injections it gets better or I should say the side effects aren't as intense. My oncologist also prescribed zoloft at this point to help with depression since it's a long process and interferon can cause depression. I had to stop interferon after four months because my liver enzymes went through the roof and I was hospitalized for high dosages of steriods. Just be honest with your oncologist and nurses about how you are feeling. Don't be a hero!!! Feel free to ask any questions as you and your family go through this process!!!
Skin Cancer - Melanoma Questions
Asked by ChrisDee on Saturday, October 6, 2012
After many delays, I am finally starting Interferon therapy on Monday for my stage 3b melanoma. My doctor has prescribed Ativan for anxiety ~of which there is lots :-) and also for nausea and sleep. Can anyone please tell me about what to expect from Interferon therapy? I have been eating very nutritious foods and excercising for the last 3 weeks to build up my immune system. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
3 Answers from the Community
I was diagnosed with Stage IIIb melanoma in 2009 had two surgeries and did the year long interferon treatment, It was rough but not all people get all the side effects. I was lucky I got all of them lol but survived it. I took one month off I was very depressed and they gave me a break for one month and went back on with a lower dose. It wasn't easy but if you health and they say you a good fit go for it what do you have to lose right. You will take a year off from your life to gain it so do what the doctors say and trust in your oncologist and talk to people who have went trough it helps. Check in your area if there is a support group you can join also that helped me out to. You may not find anybody that has the same cancer but their stories are all related in some aspect. Good luck and let me know how you make out.
Hello ChrisDee, I have had 25 doses of interferon. It was a part of a huge regimen of drugs that I took so, it is hard for me to isolate the side effects. With any of the drugs, I think it is important to visual the drug as a pacman, eating the cancer and killing it! (I read that some where). I think a big side effect of interferon is depression, as if cancer were not stressful all alone!! Anyhow, think about the stupid cancer dying and moving on!! YOU CAN DO IT!! :)