Staying Fit with Optune®

An Active Life

I was lucky to grow up on a lake in northern Wisconsin where I learned at a young age how rewarding staying active could be in your life. I skied, hunted, hiked, and played almost all sports. You name it, I have probably done it. As I got older—let’s face it, we all do—I remained active. I had a job that required frequent travel, so I was able to take advantage of hotel gyms to run and lift weights during weekdays. On weekends I almost always had a project going on that required physical strength. I never did it for any reason other than to feel good and to be able to hike as far as I needed to get to the perfect spot.


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I thought that level of activity would be left in my memories with GBM and Optune. I was now dealing with a reduced peripheral vision in my right eye, double vision, and a number of other deficits including executive dysfunction AND a device I have to use and carry all the time. I had no idea how life would change as I began treatment. I initially thought Optune would hold me back from parts of my old life.
 
I was wrong.
 
With encouragement from friends and family, as well as a go-ahead from my doctor, I “got back on the horse.” My doctor and I talked about timing and starting slow, listening to my body, and paying special attention to any fatigue or dizziness. I started with walking. I couldn’t drive and felt better being outside, so I put on my tennis shoes and did walks around the block. I found that I could wear a hat to help my head stay cool and minimize alarms due to the sun. I got a USB-powered fan that hooked up to my backpack and pointed towards my head to keep better airflow. I realized I just needed to be open to what might make new things possible.
 

A New Routine

These days I work out just as much as I used to, in some cases probably more. I typically get well above 10,000 steps a day to make my smartwatch happy. On array change days I have started running again and would like to get back to doing a few 5Ks a year. I was also able to get back out hunting with all my gear, including Optune.

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Remember, it is important that you consult your doctor if you plan to start exercising or increasing the intensity of your exercises. They can help you create a workout plan that aligns with your goals. I also do strength training at least 3 days a week in addition to cardio to make sure I can continue to do the things I love. My typical workout consists of:
  • 3 sets of 60 push-ups
  • 3 sets of deep squats
  • 3 sets of 30 pull-ups
  • 3 sets of 50 sit-ups
  • 3 sets of 40 dips
  • 3 sets of 30 ab rolls
  • 3 chair planks held for 2 minutes
I used to do more weight-based workouts but have shifted to body-weight resistance. I also take a little more time in between each set to minimize my sweating so I can keep my arrays on. Managing my sweat was a big concern when I started using Optune, but I have learned that I just need to be a little more strategic about how I work out.
 
I encourage anyone who is struggling with Optune and staying fit to think about ways they might be able to change their previous routines to something a little more manageable with the device. If you want to play golf, play golf! If you want to go fishing, go fish! Do what works for you, to the best of your ability.
Topics: Daily Life with Optune, Support Resources
By Joe, 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.