Longstanding Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona has had a history of health challenges throughout his lifetime, including many bouts with melanoma. A few weeks ago, the aging politician made a public announcement that he has been diagnosed with a dangerous form of brain cancer.
Recently, the McCain family made another major health announcement about the senator. “John McCain has made early progress in his battle against brain cancer, completing his first round of chemotherapy and radiation therapy on Friday,” they said.
Concerns regarding the senator’s health began in June when his disoriented questioning of former FBI Director James Comey had people concerned over the status of his condition.
At first, his physicians reported an unusual blood clot that was removed above his left eye during surgery that involved opening up the skull to retrieve the clot within the frontal lobe of the brain. Concerned that this clot originated in the same part of the brain where McCain had a history of melanoma dating back to 2000, doctors began conducting more tests. Those tests revealed that the senator did indeed have brain cancer.
McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, tweeted, “My father completed first round radiation/chemo. His resilience & strength is incredible. Fight goes on, here’s to small wins.”
She also referred to her father as “the toughest person I know” and that “He is meeting this challenge as he has every other. Cancer may afflict him in many ways: but it will not make him surrender.”
The senator found out that he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, which is, unfortunately, one of the most aggressive types of brain tumors. “Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot,” said the hospital when it announced McCain’s condition.
The American Brain Tumor Association says glioblastoma is a highly malignant type of cancer, representing 15.4% of all primary brain tumors.
The median survival rate for adults with aggressive glioblastoma, even with treatment, is around 14.6 months. One-third of patients survive for two years, and only 10% of glioblastoma patients live five years or longer.
McCain’s office said that the senator would be undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix while at the same time maintaining his current work schedule. Despite his condition, John McCain announced that he plans on returning to Washington, DC at the end of Congress’ August recess.
Some have speculated that this new bout with cancer might have been the catalyst for his crucial vote against the GOP’s efforts to repeal Obamacare. Whether or not this might have changed his position on the topic, one can only guess. Regardless of the decisions that the ailing senator will make in the twilight days of his career and life, there is a certain degree of respect that should be given for his contributions to conservative politics over these many years.
John McCain still has a long road ahead of him in terms of his struggle with cancer. Hopefully, there will still be some light at the end of this winding tunnel.