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I’ve had a request to explain interferon. Natural, since I don’t know I’ve said much about it here yet, partly because I don’t know a lot about it yet, by design. Unrestrained Googling is dangerous, as we all know, so I’ve really tried to limit myself until we meet with the oncologist to know what will actually happen.

From my limited Googling & discussions with doctors who are very quick to admit they are NOT oncologists, I do know that interferon is the most likely course of treatment. It’s a protein that you inject that helps to prevent recurrence of melanoma.

I also know from my friends who have had to have interferon or might have to in the future (yes, multiple friends, unbelievably), that the side effects are unpleasant. One of my doctors referred to it as feeling like you have the flu for a year.

The best site I found to explain the course of treatment (which, of course, does not mean this will be MY course of treatment) is found here. I found this after talking with the lactation consultant, and if I end up doing a month of high dose interferon as described here (again, this is only the protocol for this facility; no idea yet if this will apply to me), I really don’t know if I could sustain breastfeeding AND this treatment. We will just have to see.

So, in summary, it’s different than chemo and radiation in how it works, but it has the same concept of preventing recurrence of the cancer, and some similar side effects, but not all. Other than that, I’m refraining from trying to learn too much about things that might not apply to me. Hope this helps!