We Know Mesothelioma

Wearable treatment option may help some mesothelioma patients

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2020 | Mesothelioma |

People who have mesothelioma often face a very difficult road. They have to rely on harsh drugs that suppress the immune system to try to slow the spread of the disease. Typically, a person who is diagnosed with this aggressive cancer has a prognosis of 12 to 15 months of survival. This doesn’t leave them with a lot of time to enjoy family members and friends. 

Some mesothelioma patients are finding that there’s a new option for treatment. While this won’t cure the disease, it can help to slow the spread to provide the person with a little more time to spend with their loved ones. The prognosis with the device in use as intended is approximately 18 months. This new option is known as Optune. It’s a wearable device. 

Optune uses four electrodes, two on the back and two on the front, that are hooked up to a battery pack that provides power. The electrodes provide a crisscross pattern that goes across the person’s chest. The alternating electrical currents, which alternate hundreds of times per minute, interfere with the cancer cells’ division process. 

The patient must wear the device for approximately 18 hours per day. The longer they wear it, the better it works. The generator and battery pack are contained in a backpack that can be worn so the person is mobile. It’s charged at night while the patient sleeps. 

Unfortunately, using this device comes with the possibility of skin irritation. If the electrodes become loose, which is possible if you sweat, they can get hot and burn the skin. These burns are sometimes bad enough to blister. 

Another downside is that some people who have mesothelioma won’t be able to pay for the device. It’s also been approved to treat brain cancer. The monthly expense is around $21,000 per month, which might not be covered by insurance. 

Individuals facing this horrible aggressive cancer shouldn’t have to worry about the cost of the care they need. Seeking compensation is one option that might help them to alleviate that concern.