Taking control of my independence with Optune®

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Deciding on treatment with Optune

When you get a cancer diagnosis, life is certainly going to change. It’s just a given fact. We, as patients, have control over some of those changes, but there are some we do not. One change you do have control over is what to do in terms of utilizing your available treatment options.

I chose Optune as a treatment option for several reasons:
  1. My neurologist encouraged me to take a more active approach in treating my glioblastoma with Optune.
  2. My family was 100% supportive of me and my decision to try this treatment.
  3. In my opinion, Optune allows its patients to experience excellent self-reliance as a treatment option.
I use Optune as much as I can. I choose how long I want to use the device and what percentage I want my daily usage to look like. My doctor recommended I use Optune at least 75 percent of the time, or 18 hours a day, to receive the best response from treatment. I choose to carry my Optune in the backpack or satchel provided by nCompass®, Novocure’s support program. I also get to decide where I want to go or what I want to do.


Staying active with Optune

With permission from my doctor, I still walk 2.5 miles per day. I also play volleyball with my friends and family and work the jobs I choose to do. I preach and teach in my church and continue to stay active with my family as much as possible. When I was younger, I was taught a few sayings that very much apply to being a cancer patient. They also help make using Optune much simpler, in my opinion.
  1. When the going gets tough, get going.
  2. You have to roll with the punches if you don’t want to get knocked out.
  3. “Can’t” never did anything.

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Adjusting to the learning curve

I was able to adapt to Optune relatively quickly, but I still experienced a slight learning curve at first. There have been a few times where I bit off more than I could chew, so to speak. For example, I completed an electrical job in a very difficult location at one point and was able to get the job done. However, it sometimes took more work to put everything back in its place rather than doing the job itself. My caregiver, Linda, called and asked where I was that day because I was late for my array change. I told her I was trying to finish an electrical job down the street and could use some help. She brought her college-aged daughter who was home for summer break with her to help me get everything packed away. The customer was very impressed that I was able to finish the job in such a confined space while using Optune.


Seeking help, advice

I rarely need help with anything while on Optune, but in any event that I do—I know I can rely on my family and friends. When I had questions concerning the device and how it works, I enlisted the help of my Device Support Specialist (DSS) from nCompass. My experience with Optune has been simple, but this is just my experience. Yours may be different.
For someone using Optune or someone who is concerned about maintaining their independence with the device, the best advice I could give is to not be afraid to try it. If you don’t succeed, try and try again.

 
Topics: Daily Life with Optune, Support Resources
By Chuck, Optune patient
 

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What is Optune® approved to treat?

Optune is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.

Newly diagnosed GBM

If you have newly diagnosed GBM, Optune is used together with a chemotherapy called temozolomide (TMZ) if:

Recurrent GBM

If your tumor has come back, Optune can be used alone as an alternative to standard medical therapy if:

What is Optune Lua approved to treat?

Optune Lua is a wearable, portable, FDA-approved device indicated for the treatment of adult patients, with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) to be used together with standard chemotherapy (pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy).

Who should not use Optune for GBM or Optune Lua for MPM?

Optune for GBM and Optune Lua for MPM are not for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have:

Do not use Optune for GBM or Optune Lua for MPM if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Optune/Optune Lua is safe or effective during pregnancy.

What should I know before using Optune for GBM or Optune Lua for MPM?

Optune and Optune Lua should only be used after receiving training from qualified personnel, such as your doctor, a nurse, or other medical staff who have completed a training course given by Novocure®, the maker of Optune and Optune Lua.

What are the possible side effects of Optune for GBM and Optune Lua for MPM?

The most common side effects of Optune when used together with chemotherapy for GBM (temozolomide or TMZ) were low blood platelet count, nausea, constipation, vomiting, tiredness, seizure, and depression.

The most common side effects when using Optune alone for GBM were scalp irritation (redness and itchiness) and headache. Other side effects were malaise, muscle twitching, fall and skin ulcers.

The most common side effects of Optune Lua when used together with chemotherapy for MPM (pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy) were low red blood cell count, constipation, nausea, tiredness, chest pain, fatigue, skin irritation from device use, itchy skin, and cough.

Other potential adverse effects associated with the use of Optune Lua include: treatment related skin irritation, allergic reaction to the plaster or to the gel, electrode overheating leading to pain and/or local skin burns, infections at sites of electrode contact with the skin, local warmth and tingling sensation beneath the electrodes, muscle twitching, medical device site reaction and skin breakdown/skin ulcer.

Talk to your doctor if you have any of these side effects or questions.

Caution: Federal law restricts Optune Lua to sale by or on the order of a physician. Humanitarian Device. Authorized by Federal Law for use in the treatment of adult patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic, malignant pleural mesothelioma concurrently with pemetrexed and platinum-based chemotherapy. The effectiveness of this device for this use has not been demonstrated.

Please click here to see the Optune Instructions for Use (IFU) for complete information regarding the device's indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions.

Please click here to see the Optune Lua IFU for complete information regarding the device's indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions.

On this site, patient and healthcare professional videos as well as all images labeled as Optune users, caregivers, or healthcare professionals depict actual patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. All other depictions of patients and caregivers are actor portrayals. Patient images reflect the health status of the patients at the time each photo was taken.

What is Optune approved to treat?

Optune is indicated to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in adult patients 22 years of age or older.