Shocking news emerged last night when John McCain, after undergoing a procedure to treat a blood clot near his eye, was found to have an aggressive form of brain cancer that will almost certainly end his long political career.
On Wednesday night, physicians at the Mayo Clinic diagnosed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) with a brain tumor, which was discovered after the senator underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot above his left eye.
According to the Mayo Clinic, glioblastoma is “an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord”.
Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord. Glioblastoma forms from cells called astrocytes that support nerve cells.
Glioblastoma can occur at any age, but tends to occur more often in older adults. It can cause worsening headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures.
Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme, can be very difficult to treat and a cure is often not possible. Treatments may slow progression of the cancer and reduce signs and symptoms.
Treatment options involve surgery to remove the tumor, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy. The Mayo Clinic notes that a glioblastoma tumor is not able to be completely surgically removed from the brain, as it grows into healthy brain tissue and spreads quickly.
Unfortunately, medical expects state that long-term survival chances for glioblastoma are low. However, there have been cases where patients survive beyond medical estimates, but much of those cases depend on the size and location of the tumor.
Long-term survivors of glioblastoma (GB) are rare. Several variables besides tumor size and location determine a patient’s survival chances: age at diagnosis, where younger patients often receive more aggressive treatment that is multimodal; functional status, which has a significant negative correlation with age; and histologic and genetic markers.
According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, “there is no cure for glioblastoma”, and precise treatment options will vary based on the size and location of the tumor, in addition to the patient’s age.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for glioblastoma. Treatment is palliative and may include surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. The best treatment options for each person depend on many factors including the size and location of the tumor; the extent to which the tumor has grown into the surrounding normal brain tissues; and the affected person’s age and overall health. Glioblastoma is often treated with surgery initially to remove as much of the tumor as possible. In most cases, it is not possible to remove the entire tumor so additional treatment with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy is necessary. In elderly people or people in whom surgery is not an option, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may be used
President Trump in a statement said, “Senator John McCain has always been a fighter”, and “Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy and their entire family. Get well soon.”
Following the revelation of McCain’s medical condition his office issued an official statement, thanking the doctors of the Mayo Clinic and that his return to the Senate will be determined after consultations with his medical team.
“Senator McCain appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days. He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective. Further consultations with Senator McCain’s Mayo Clinic care team will indicate when he will return to the United States Senate.”
We all wish Senator McCain the best, but as a Senator he has a vast array of responsibilities that could prove to be adverse to his recovery. It appears that, as part of his treatment plan, there will be some sort of radiation therapy administered, either chemo or another form. While undergoing this treatment, Senator McCain will be in a weakened state and likely homebound, unable to discharge his duties as a Senator.
John McCain will turn 81 in August and has had a long, distinguished career in American politics. Logically, one would imagine that McCain would wish to spend his golden years with his family, especially after a diagnosis of brain cancer. I believe McCain will return to the Senate for a time, but once treatment begins, he should do what is best for the country, step down and allow another to take his place in government.
Hopefully, whoever takes his place will be more aligned with Republican voters who supported Trump’s “America First” agenda, rather than attempt to obstruct his policies from within the government.