New Book Helps Brain Tumor Patients Steer Their Course

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2013


Written by Mayo Clinic and Tufts Medical Center neuro-oncologists, this book empowers patients in their health care decisions.

Alyx B. Porter, M.D., a neuro-oncologist at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Arizona

Alyx B. Porter, M.D.

Empowering patients during the course of their treatment is the goal of a new book, "Navigating Life with a Brain Tumor," written by neuro-oncologists from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Arizona and Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

"So many times patients feel they have so much done to them, and we hope that this book will arm them with information they need to be an active participant in their treatment," said Alyx B. Porter, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, who co-authored the book with Lynne Taylor, M.D., of Tufts Medical Center. "It's incredibly scary whenever anyone is told there is something in their brain that shouldn't be there, and once a person has all that emotion pumping it's hard to hear and remember. It's just not the best environment to receive all the information."

"Navigating Life with a Brain Tumor" discusses the basics of brain tumors, the various types of tumors, how to manage different tumors, brain tumor symptoms, treatments and side effects, the role of medical team members, and coping strategies from initial diagnosis throughout the course of the illness.

"Patients can gain a great deal of comfort from having accurate information and a framework through which to view their diagnosis," Dr. Taylor said. "Our hope is that this book will provide some of that grounding and make it a little easier for patients and their families to navigate their illness and the medical system."

In addition to covering the most recent medical treatments, "Navigating Life with a Brain Tumor" also includes information for patients about:

  • How to find the right information
  • How to reduce stress by eating well, meditating, getting active and joining support groups
  • How to deal with cosmetic issues
  • How to use creativity and art as therapy
  • How to engage in daily activities, such as working and driving

"This book is really a supplement to the patient-physician relationship," Dr. Porter said. "It can be a springboard for questions or a way to clarify terms that weren't understood."

The book is available on and at other major book retailers.

Navigating Life with a Brain Tumor

Watch a video of Dr. Porter discussing this book.