She thought she had an earache … but it was actually a brain tumor

Groundbreaking device giving hope to brain cancer patients

ATLANTA — A New York-based Delta flight attendant was here in Atlanta on layover when she went to Piedmont Atlanta because she thought she had an earache.

It turns out she actually had a brain tumor. And thanks to a ground-breaking device, she believes years were added onto her life.

Julia Peacock showed Channel 2 Action News Anchor Craig Lucie the Optune that she wears on her head.

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“You wear it 18 hours a day and it shocks your brain. It’s proven to attack GBM cancer cells and adds years to your life,” she said.

The Optune uses low-dose electric fields to target Glioblastoma brain cancer cells.

“This doesn’t have to be a death sentence,” Peacock said.

BACKGROUND

First, Peacock underwent surgery at Piedmont Atlanta, where they removed the tumor in her brain.

Then, doctors applied the Optune device, which consists of strips of electrodes that are connected to a tiny generator.

“I’m going to be a medical miracle because of them,” Peacock said.

Dr. Erin Dunbar, who is a founding physician of the Brain Tumor Center and director of neuro-oncology at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, suggested Optune.

She called Peacock a pioneer for trusting the FDA-approved treatment.

“(It works) to slow down perturb tumor cells we can’t even see. And that has been an amazing advancement in treatment to provide fourth modality,” Dunbar said. “It’s not surgery. It’s not radiation. It’s not medicine. But it’s energy to slow down the tumor.”

Peacock’s recent MRI shows the cells have been controlled, giving her more time to do what she loves.

Peacock, who lived in New York, said once she was diagnosed with cancer and met the team at Piedmont, she knew she wasn’t leaving Atlanta.

Peacock believes the team at Piedmont has saved her life.