This past weekend Ted Kennedy, the 76year old Massachusetts Senator was rushed to the hospital in Cape Cod and then transferred to Mass General. It was originally thought to be a stroke, then was deemed a seizure. Now according to doctors, Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
BOSTON – A cancerous brain tumor caused the seizure Sen. Edward M. Kennedy suffered over the weekend, doctors said Tuesday in a grim diagnosis for one of American politics’ most enduring figures. Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma.
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.
Statement from Dr. Lee Schwamm, Vice Chairman, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Primary Care Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital
“Over the course of the last several days, we’ve done a series of tests on Senator Kennedy to determine the cause of his seizure. He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital. Some of the tests we had performed were inconclusive, particularly in light of the fact that the Senator had severe narrowing of the left carotid artery and underwent surgery just 6 months ago. However, preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe. The usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy. Decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Senator Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis. Senator Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy.”
“Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe,” according to a statement from the doctors treating the senator.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said President Bush was “deeply saddened” by the news and would keep the senator in his prayers.
There is a time to put politics aside and go to your separate corners and provide well wishes and prayers, this is one of those times. Even during times of war, opposing sides call a truce. Do not condemn the man for his mistakes and flaws in his life or glom on to his situation for political grandstanding. This is not a time to be political, on either side of the aisle. We wish you well Ted.
ABC News: The usual course of treatment includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy
Boston Globe: What kind of brain tumor does Kennedy have?
FOX News: Sen. Ted Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor, Doctors Say
AP: Doctors say Sen. Kennedy has malignant brain tumor
Yahoo News: Ted Kennedy has cancerous brain tumor
Bloggers discussing Ted Kennedy’s recent brain tumor diagnosis:
- Red State: On Senator Kennedy (well stated)
- Hot Air: Genuinely shocking, not only because of the diagnosis but the prognosis.
- Michelle Malkin: Put aside your political differences
- Flopping Aces: Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family!
- Connecting the Dots: The Last of Our Kennedy Past
- Town Hall.com: Ted Kennedy Diagnosed with Brain Cancer
More Info on Malignant Gliomas
- Management of malignant gliomas
- Malignant cerebral glioma–I: Survival, disability, and morbidity after radiotherapy
- Neurosurgical Treatment of Malignant Glioma
A malignant glioma — the diagnosis doctors gave Sen. Edward M. Kennedy — is the worst kind of brain cancer. Malignant gliomas strike almost 9,000 Americans a year. Survival statistics are grim — few live three years and for the worst subtype, half die within a year.
Who lasts longer — and some do — depends on exactly what form of glioma someone has, whether surgeons can cut most of it out, age and some other medical details.
Kennedy’s doctors didn’t mention surgery, suggesting that may not be a possibility for him.
“As a general rule, at 76, without the ability to do a surgical resection, as kind of a ballpark figure you’re probably looking at a survival of less than a year,” said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.