A statement released by the Mayo Clinic has revealed that Senator John McCain was found to have a brain tumor. The 80-year-old veteran politician underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot above his eye and tissue pathology would show that a primary brain tumor was associated with the clot.
According to the Mayo Clinic, McCain is doing “amazingly well” in his recovery and is evaluating his options.
“On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot.
“Scanning done since the procedure (a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision) shows that the tissue of concern was completely resected by imaging criteria.
“The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.
“The Senator’s doctors say he is recovering from his surgery ‘amazingly well’ and his underlying health is excellent.”
After the news broke, Meghan McCain shared a message on Twitter about her father’s health battle.
The office for John McCain has noted that further consultations with the Mayo Clinic will be needed to determine when he can return to the Senate. According to the Associated Press, the type of cancer McCain has been diagnosed with is “particularly aggressive.”
McCain’s doctors at the Mayo Clinic said they managed to remove all the tumor that was visible on brain scans. But this kind of tumor, formally known as a glioblastoma multiforme, is aggressive and sneaky. It puts out microscopic roots that go deeper into brain tissue, explained Dr. Joshua Bederson, chairman of neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, who has no direct knowledge of McCain’s care.
McCain’s Mayo doctors said the senator’s next treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. That’s standard, and the care can take weeks to months. Even among those who respond to initial treatment, the cancer can come back, and often within 12 to 24 months. The American Cancer Society puts the five-year survival rate for patients over 55 at about 4 percent.
Mount Sinai’s Bederson tells his own glioblastoma patients that he knows they’ll look up the grim statistics, but he wants them to remember that some people do beat the odds for long periods.
And CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta provided some insight on the condition when discussing the breaking news on Anderson Cooper 360.