Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kennedy Has Brain Tumor

This is very sad news. Doctors have determined that Sen. Ten Kennedy has a cancerous brain tumor, which caused the seizure he suffered on Saturday. The Associated Press reports:

The Massachusetts Democrat as a malignant glioma in the left parietal-lobe, according to doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, where Kennedy, 76, has been undergoing tests since Saturday after having a seizure at his Cape Cod home.

The usual course of treatment includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy, but Kennedy's treatment will be decided after more tests.

"He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital," said a joint statement issued by Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy's primary care physician.

The doctors said Kennedy will remain in the hospital "for the next couple of days according to routine protocol." [...]

Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year — and the most common type among adults. It's a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types — such as glioblastomas — or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.

Surgery can be an option for some types, especially to reduce symptoms as a tumor enlarges and puts pressure on the rest of the brain. Many gliomas infiltrate normal brain tissue instead of forming a solid mass, making it hard to remove much of the tumor.
This is such difficult news to hear. As I have mentioned in the past, my interest in politics was sparked by John F. Kennedy's campaign for the White House in 1960. I was seven years old at the time, and even though my parents were registered Republicans -- and my mother worked for the local Republican Party -- she encouraged my interest in the race.

I was also a Bobby Kennedy fan, following his campaign in 1968, and was devastated when an assassins bullet changed the course of history forever.

Ted Kennedy has been a champion of liberal causes for the more than four decades he has served in the U.S. Senate. Very often taking the lead on issues important to women. We need his voice in the Senate.

The Kennedy family is known for its strong faith. Please send positive thoughts to the Senator and his family during this difficult time.

UPDATE: There is a place on Sen. Kennedy's web site where you can send best wishes.

1 comment:

Sue J said...

This is indeed very sad news. As frustrated with him as I have been this campaign season, Senator Kennedy has indeed had a lifetime of working for a variety of liberal causes, and I have always admired him greatly, just as you have.