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, what motivates or inspires you, and why you want the chance for long-term survival.
Patients who received YERVOY® (ipilimumab) alone and patients who took YERVOY plus another experimental drug showed a median* overall survival of 10 months. Patients who took the experimental drug alone showed a median overall survival of 6 months.
Over the course of the study, treatment with YERVOY decreased the risk of death by about one third compared to patients who received the experimental drug.
The most common side effects of YERVOY include: tiredness, diarrhea, itching, and rash.
These are not all of the possible side effects of YERVOY. If you have any questions about your health or medicines, talk to your healthcare provider. Please see the Important Safety Information below.
*The median is the middle point at which half of the patients are still alive.
About the YERVOY trial
676 patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma participated in a study to measure overall survival. These patients were previously treated with one or more of the following: aldesleukin, dacarbazine, temozolomide, fotemustine, or carboplatin. The major goal was to measure how long patients lived with YERVOY in combination with the experimental drug compared to the experimental drug alone.
Individual results may vary. It is important for patients to ask their doctor if YERVOY is right for them.
Goal 1: Define yourself 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, and ask yourself:
- “What are my goals, for now and later?”
- “What types of side effects can I handle?”
- “Do I want to try and fight the cancer? Or just keep the symptoms at bay?”
These are insights you must share with your oncologist to ensure that you are both creating a treatment plan that you feel comfortable with.
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 American Cancer Society and The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) 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.
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.