Summer 2007

Brain Tumor Education Center

The Department of Neurological Surgery has established a new Brain Tumor Education Center for patients and their caregivers. Launched last fall with funding provided by the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA), the center is intended to provide help with the tough issues that come following the diagnosis of a brain tumor. "Survivorship is a major concern and one we want to be more in tune with," says neuro-oncologist Susan Chang, M.D., who worked with Mitchel Berger, M.D., neurosurgeon and department chair, and ABTA Executive Director Naomi Berkowitz to develop the center.

Located next to the department's reception area on the eighth floor of 400 Parnassus Ave., the center contains a resource library, as well as a computer that allows users to access relevant cancer and brain tumor websites. But the space is also meant to serve as a quiet place where patients and caregivers can sit during the often-anguishing wait for scan or surgical results. "We took a lot of care in selecting the furniture to create a calm environment," says Sarah Geraty, the department's administrative director.

Perhaps the center's most popular offering is the monthly lecture series, which covers topics ranging from new surgical treatments to alternative therapies to dealing with insomnia. The subjects are based on a survey that asked patients and caregivers what they want to know about. "We are really trying to tailor this to their needs," says Chang. "Patients and their caregivers are living with the disease, so we really want to do what we can to improve their quality of life."

Dr. Susan Chang can be reached at (415) 353-2966.

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