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Goal 1: Define your goals before moving forward

In the first hours after a diagnosis of metastatic melanoma, it’s understandable to have a million thoughts, emotions, and questions running through your head. This is why it’s critical to take a few hours during this time, before any consultations, to ask yourself:

Define your goals before moving forward

These are insights you must share with your oncologist to ensure that you are both creating a treatment plan that you feel comfortable with.

Could YERVOY® (ipilimumab) help you reach your goals?

Empower yourself with short-term and long-term treatment goals

After diagnosis, it’s very possible you will meet with an oncologist for the first time who might only know you by the documents in your chart. This is why it’s important to make sure your oncologist knows what matters to you from the start: what your treatment goals are and what motivates or inspires you.

Goal 2: Educate yourself on your diagnosis

This is a good time for you and/or a loved one to go into research mode and start gathering information and assembling questions on your diagnosis and your treatment options. Dedicate a notebook and folder for just this purpose. Visit reputable websites, like Cancer Support Community and The Melanoma Research Foundation, to learn all that you can about your diagnosis and the various treatment options that are out there. Remember, the more prepared you are for this visit, the more time you have to focus on the treatment options you’d like to discuss further.

Goal 3: Support yourself with a second set of ears

Whether it's your spouse, partner, son or daughter, your sibling or a friend, this person should be another set of ears—a careful listener and a good note taker. It’s possible you may not remember to ask everything you wanted to ask, or hear everything that’s been said, so bringing this person should be very helpful.
Ask for copies of everything the doctor is using for treatment discussion. Make sure these copies stay in your folder.

Support yourself with a second set of ears

Goal 4: Remember, you are still in charge of you

If you hear something you don’t understand, ask for clarification. If you are told something you don’t feel comfortable with, question it. Every cancer is unique to each person and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Some doctors may feel more comfortable with a certain treatment, but be sure to ask about all your treatment options. And keep your goals in sight.

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YOUR WORDS CAN HELP Here's your chance to inspire others by sharing your experiences.
BEING A CAREGIVERBeing an active caregiver isn't easy. Get help and suggestions from the start.
More Important Safety Information +

Important Safety Information about YERVOY® (ipilimumab)

YERVOY can cause serious side effects in many parts of your body which can lead to death. These serious side effects may include: intestinal problems (colitis) that can cause tears or holes (perforation) in the intestines; liver problems (hepatitis) that can lead to liver failure; skin problems that can lead to severe skin reaction; nerve problems that can lead to paralysis; hormone gland problems (especially the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands); and eye problems.

These problems may happen anytime during treatment with YERVOY or after you have completed treatment. Getting medical treatment right away may keep the problem from becoming more serious. Your healthcare provider will check you for these problems during treatment with YERVOY. Your healthcare provider may treat you with corticosteroid medicines. Your healthcare provider should perform blood tests, such as liver, hormone, and thyroid function tests, before starting and during treatment with YERVOY. Your healthcare provider may need to delay or completely stop treatment with YERVOY, if you have severe side effects.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. Even seemingly mild symptoms can lead to severe or even life-threatening conditions if not addressed. Do not try to treat symptoms yourself.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Intestinal problems (colitis) that can cause tears or holes (perforation) in the intestines. Signs and symptoms of colitis may include: diarrhea (loose stools) or more bowel movements than usual; blood in your stools or dark, tarry, sticky stools; and stomach pain (abdominal pain) or tenderness
  • Liver problems (hepatitis) that can lead to liver failure. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis may include: yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes; dark urine (tea colored); nausea or vomiting; pain on the right side of your stomach; and bleeding or bruise more easily than normal
  • Skin problems that can lead to severe skin reactions. Signs and symptoms of severe skin reactions may include: skin rash with or without itching; sores in your mouth; and your skin blisters and/or peels
  • Nerve problems that can lead to paralysis. Symptoms of nerve problems may include: unusual weakness of legs, arms, or face; and numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • Hormone gland problems (especially the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands). Signs and symptoms that your glands are not working properly may include: persistent or unusual headaches; unusual sluggishness; feeling cold all the time; weight gain; changes in mood or behavior such as decreased sex drive, irritability, or forgetfulness; and dizziness or fainting
  • Eye problems. Symptoms may include: blurry vision, double vision, or other vision problems; and eye pain or redness

Pregnancy and Nursing:

  • Before you receive YERVOY, tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. YERVOY can harm your unborn baby. Females who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with YERVOY and for 3 months after the last dose of YERVOY. Before you receive YERVOY, tell your healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if YERVOY passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with YERVOY and for 3 months after the last dose of YERVOY.

Tell your healthcare provider about:

  • All your medical conditions, including if you: have immune system problems (autoimmune disease), such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, lupus, or sarcoidosis; have had an organ transplant; and have liver problems
  • All the medicines you take including: all prescription and over-the-counter medicines; vitamins; and herbal supplements

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list to show your healthcare provider and pharmacists each time you get a new medicine. You should not start a new medicine before you talk with the healthcare provider who prescribes you YERVOY.

The most common side effects of YERVOY include: tiredness, diarrhea, itching, rash, nausea, vomiting, headache, weight loss, fever, decreased appetite, and difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of YERVOY. For more information, ask your healthcare provider.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see U.S. Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING regarding immune-mediated side effects, and Medication Guide for YERVOY.

Indication

YERVOY® (ipilimumab) is a prescription medicine used in adults to treat melanoma (a kind of skin cancer) that has spread (metastatic) or cannot be removed by surgery (unresectable).

It is not known if YERVOY is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age.