For People 12 Years of Age and Older Whose CRC Has Spread to Other Parts of the Body (Metastatic), Has Progressed After Treatment With a Fluoropyrimidine, Oxaliplatin, and Irinotecan, and Is dMMR or MSI-HLiving With This Condition

Living With This Condition

Getting a cancer diagnosis is a difficult experience. When you first hear about your diagnosis, you may feel anxious, scared, or overwhelmed. You may face a lot of treatment decisions and will have many questions. That’s why it is important to communicate with your healthcare team about any concerns you may have about important area of your health, including nutrition, exercise and managing stress.

Questions About Diet and Nutrition

During treatment, you may have questions about your diet. Every patient is different and may have different nutritional needs. Here are some questions you can ask your healthcare team regarding your diet and nutrition while you are undergoing treatment:

  • Will there be any adjustments to my diet while undergoing treatment?
  • Will my appetite be affected?
  • What should my diet consist of while I am on treatment?
  • Should I add vitamins and nutritional supplements to my dietary routine?
  • Is it important to drink fluids during my treatment?

Questions About Exercise

Today, many cancer treatment teams are encouraging their patients to be as physically active as possible. Here are some questions you can ask your healthcare team regarding exercise. Before starting an exercise routine while you are undergoing treatment, be sure to discuss this with your doctor.

  • Is it safe to exercise during cancer treatment?
  • What type of activity should I do?
  • If I am allowed to weight train, are there any limits to the amount of weight I should use?
  • Are there any restrictions on physical activity?
  • Are there any additional resources available to me?

Questions About Coping With Stress and Emotions During and After Treatment

A cancer diagnosis may have a major impact on patients. During treatment and recovery, people with cancer may feel fearful and anxious. Fear of treatment, doctor visits, and tests might also cause apprehension. It’s important to discuss any changes in your mood with your healthcare team. Here are some questions to ask to help guide that discussion.

To get more ideas to discuss with your doctor about emotional support during and after treatment, click here for a list of resources.

  • If I feel anxious about treatment and tests, who can I talk to?
  • Who can I reach out to for support?
  • What are things I can try to do to help myself if I feel fearful or anxious?
  • Are there any cancer support groups?
  • When should I talk to my healthcare team about changes in my mood?

Building a Support Network

Facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment can be an overwhelming experience. It also affects family and friends. Family members may be supportive, or they may be worried and afraid. This is an opportunity for you to get support from family and friends.

Ask for Help—Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness. Your loved ones will want to help. You may also find volunteers through house of worship or community groups. Professional helpers can also be hired to assist with physical care and other needs.

Determine Where You Need Support—You may need help with chores and errands, or you may need someone to take time off work to drive you to treatments. You may need help with daily errands or cooking meals. Find people who can be part of your core support network to help with these tasks.

Be a Team—It’s important that you, your family members, and other people who are offering support function as a team. Talk about which decisions you should make together and which decisions you should make alone.

Join a Support Group—There are many resources out there offering help for cancer patients. Support groups are one way to help people with cancer and their loved ones who are affected by the disease. For cancer patients, this is an opportunity to expand their support network by being with others with similar cancer experiences.

Click here for a list of support organizations and online communities to expand your support network.

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See how OPDIVO performed in a clinical trial in patients.

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OPDIVO®  with You Program

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for anyone considering or currently taking OPDIVO. Call 1-855-OPDIVO-1 or click to learn more.

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Talking With Your Doctor Is Key

Review a list of questions with your oncologist about whether OPDIVO is right for you.

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OPDIVO can cause problems that can sometimes become serious or life-threatening and can lead to death. Serious side effects may include lung problems (pneumonitis); intestinal problems (colitis) that can lead to tears or holes in your intestine; liver problems (hepatitis); hormone gland problems (especially the thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands and pancreas); kidney problems, including nephritis and kidney failure; skin problems; inflammation of the brain (encephalitis); problems in other organs; and severe infusion reactions. The most common side effects of OPDIVO when used alone include: feeling tired; rash; pain in muscles, bones, and joints; itchy skin; diarrhea; nausea; weakness; cough; shortness of breath; constipation; decreased appetite; back pain; upper respiratory tract infection; fever; headache; and abdominal pain.

Important Facts about OPDIVO® (nivolumab)

This is a summary of important information that you need to know about OPDIVO. Your healthcare team can work with you to help answer any questions you may have about OPDIVO. Keep this information in a safe place so you can refer to it before and during your treatment.

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What is OPDIVO?

OPDIVO is a prescription medicine used to treat adults and children 12 years of age and older who have colorectal cancer (a type of colon or rectal cancer), and who:

Have colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic); AND

Have a tumor that is microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR); AND

Have tried treatment with a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan, and it did not work or is no longer working.

OPDIVO was approved based on response rate and how long patients’ responses lasted. There is ongoing evaluation of clinical benefit of OPDIVO for this use.

It is not known if OPDIVO is safe and effective in children younger than 12 years of age with MSI-H or dMMR metastatic colorectal cancer.

OPDIVO is a medicine that may treat certain cancers by working with your immune system. It can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in any area of your body, and can affect the way these organs work.

What are the serious side effects of OPDIVO?

A serious side effect is a side effect that can sometimes become life-threatening and can lead to death. They can happen anytime during treatment or even after your treatment has ended.

Get medical help immediately if you develop any of these symptoms or they get worse. It may keep these problems from becoming more serious. Your healthcare team will check you for side effects during treatment with OPDIVO, and may treat you with corticosteroid or hormone replacement medicines. If you have a serious side effect, your healthcare team may need to delay or completely stop your treatment.

Lung problems (pneumonitis) – Things to look out for may include:

  • new or worsening cough
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath

Intestinal problems (colitis) that can lead to tears or holes in your intestine – Things to look out for may include:

  • diarrhea (loose stools) or more
    bowel movements than usual
  • blood in your stools or dark,
    tarry, sticky stools
  • severe stomach area (abdomen)
    pain or tenderness

Liver problems (hepatitis) – Things to look out for may include:

  • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • pain on the right side of your stomach area (abdomen)
  • drowsiness
  • dark urine (tea colored)
  • bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
  • feeling less hungry than usual
  • decreased energy

Hormone gland problems (especially the thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands, and pancreas) – Things to look out for may include:

  • headaches that will not go away
    or unusual headaches
  • extreme tiredness
  • weight gain or weight loss
  • changes in mood or behavior,
    such as decreased sex drive,
    irritability, or forgetfulness
  • hair loss
  • feeling cold
  • constipation
  • voice gets deeper
  • excessive thirst or lots of urine

Kidney problems, including nephritis and kidney failure – Things to look out for may include:

  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • blood in your urine
  • swelling in your ankles
  • loss of appetite

Skin problems – Things to look out for may include:

  • rash
  • itching
  • skin blistering
  • ulcers in the mouth or other
    mucous membranes

Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) – Things to look out for may include:

  • headache
  • fever
  • tiredness or weakness
  • confusion
  • memory problems
  • sleepiness
  • seeing or hearing things that are not really there (hallucinations)
  • seizures
  • stiff neck

Problems in other organs – Things to look out for may include:

  • changes in eyesight
  • severe or persistent muscle or joint pains
  • severe muscle weakness
  • chest pain

Severe infusion reactions – Things to look out for may include:

  • chills or shaking
  • itching or rash
  • flushing
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness
  • fever
  • feeling like passing out

Talk to your healthcare team right away if you get any of the symptoms of a severe infusion reaction during or after an infusion of OPDIVO.

What should I discuss with my healthcare team about pregnancy and nursing before starting OPDIVO?

Tell your healthcare team if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. OPDIVO can harm your unborn baby. Females who are able to become pregnant should use an effective method of birth control during and for at least 5 months after the last dose of OPDIVO.

Talk to your healthcare team about birth control methods that you can use during this time. Tell your healthcare team right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

Tell your healthcare team if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if OPDIVO passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment.

What should I discuss with my healthcare team before starting OPDIVO?

Talk to your healthcare team about all of your health problems or concerns, including if you:

  • have immune system problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus
  • have had an organ transplant
  • have lung or breathing problems
  • have liver problems
  • have any other medical conditons

Talk to your healthcare team about all of the medicines you are taking, including:

  • prescription medicines
  • over-the-counter medicines
  • vitamins
  • herbal supplements

What are the most common side effects of OPDIVO?

The most common side effects of OPDIVO when used alone include:

  • feeling tired
  • rash
  • pain in muscles, bones, and joints
  • itchy skin
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • weakness
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • constipation
  • decreased appetite
  • back pain
  • upper respiratory tract
  • fever
  • headache
  • abdominal pain

These are not all of the possible side effects of OPDIVO. Talk to your healthcare team for more information.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, please see U.S. Full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for OPDIVO, or talk to your healthcare team.