The Building Blocks for Strength

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The first time I noticed the effects of my GBM, I was literally on a downward slope.

I was skiing down a mountain when I noticed I couldn’t turn my skis the way I wanted. Not because of the skis or the snow, but because I physically couldn’t make myself turn them. It seemed odd, so I went to see a doctor who found a mass behind my right eye and ear. After I underwent surgery, I heard the word “glioblastoma” for the first time.

At first, it felt like my life was still on that downhill slope, but little did I know this diagnosis would teach me something new about strength.
        

Going the extra mile

Soon after my diagnosis, my doctor recommended I try a treatment called Optune, which my doctor explained is a wearable, portable medical device for the treatment of GBM. I was determined to do anything I could to slow down the progression of my GBM.

But starting a new medical treatment that involves a lot of technology can be challenging. That’s why my wife, Pam, and I really appreciated the support we received from our nCompass® Device Support Specialist (DSS).

The DSS came to our home and walked us through the whole process of putting on the arrays. She also explained how the device worked, and she taught us what to do if we have any technological issues.

I really felt like she went above and beyond, even after that initial lesson. Before the pandemic, our DSS regularly met with my wife and me and we would go over any questions or issues we had. We really got to know her and felt like we could trust her if we ever needed anything. She always goes the extra mile when we need her!

nCompass, the support program provided by Novocure, has also been phenomenal in handling any issues I’ve had with insurance coverage. When I retired, I had to change my insurance, and at first, coverage for Optune was denied. But nCompass fought for my coverage and I’ve never received a bill. This is just my experience, and everyone’s will be different, but I feel grateful.

The support from nCompass has been the building blocks for my own mental strength. Having my DSS help me along the way has taught me more strategies to be independent. For example, I’ve learned how to strap the device in a way that’s more comfortable when I’m doing activities, like washing my car. Building that inner strength has been an important aspect of my journey with GBM, and honestly, I feel lucky. Even though I have GBM, I can still do a lot of the activities I enjoy; I just have to adapt a little bit. But that’s okay with me because I know now, more than ever, how to appreciate the little things, like the view from the end of a long walk.

Now, I no longer feel like I’m on a downhill slope. Well, except when I’m actually skiing! Thanks to the help from nCompass, I feel like I’m able to build on my newfound strength each day.
 
Topics: Support Resources
By By Scott, 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.