I recently shot photos of an FDA-approved treatment we’ve recently adopted for my mother’s brain cancer. Every three to four days, my stepfather and I shave my mother’s head and replace a series of four pads that stick to specific areas of her scalp. They connect to a generator that produces an electric field that’s delivered to the tumor through a collection of disks located under the pads. The entire replacement process takes about 20 to 30 minutes, and she wears the device for at least 18 hours a day, every day. Patients get a backpack to carry the generator and portable batteries when there isn’t a power source nearby.
When used in conjunction with chemotherapy, the treatment, called Optune, is shown to slow the growth of brain tumors and increase the survival time of patients by months.