MA Senator Ted Kennedy Diagnosed with Malignant Brain Tumor


This past weekend Ted Kennedy, the 76year old Massachusetts Senator was Kennedy_tedrushed 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.”

Doctors: Ted Kennedy has brain tumor

“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:

More Info on Malignant Gliomas

UPDATE I: Sen. Edward Kennedy diagnosed with brain tumor; prognosis seen as poor

UPDATE II: A grim diagnosis: Kennedy’s brain cancer is worst kind

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.

Posted May 20, 2008 by
Government, Healthcare | 32 comments

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  • Comments

    32 Responses to “MA Senator Ted Kennedy Diagnosed with Malignant Brain Tumor”

    1. Miss-Underestimated on May 20th, 2008 12:17 pm

      Just a bit of clarity here, but I imagine Ted will not be back to work as a senator for awhile. Who is in line for his job?

    2. Luigi on May 20th, 2008 12:37 pm

      Over the years I have grown to dislike Sen., Kennedy and none to happy that he bolted from Hillary Clinton. But, I also have no love for some politicians across the aisle. Nevertheless, my thoughts go out the family, they are having a hard time.

    3. Scared Monkeys on May 20th, 2008 12:40 pm

      I know in the past with other Senators who suffered strokes, they just left the position open and the staff ran the show.


    4. brenda on May 20th, 2008 12:42 pm

      I’ve never been fond of Ted, yet would not wish this on anyone. The Kennedy family has had more than its fair share of tragedy. This is another hard blow for them no doubt.

      Wonder if his heavy drinking had anything to do with it? Effects people differently depending on their metabolism.

    5. Scared Monkeys on May 20th, 2008 1:04 pm

      I have had family members that have been diagnosed with the same type of brain cancer. They to suffered seizures prior to being properly diagnosed. I was wondering to myself if he actually had a brain tumor.

      However, I also wondered if Ted did, if they would ever make such news public.

      It is treatable depending on the severity and stage cancer it is. How one treats their body does make a difference. One thing is for certain, that people I knew who went thru the treatment were never the same again. They lived, but never were the same.

      I find it hard to believe that he will be able to be the same person that he was before this as a Senator.

      I have never agreed with much of anything Ted has ever said or done and living in New England for years had to endure much of it.

      That being said, I wish him well and to get well soon. It won’t be easy.

    6. Booker on May 20th, 2008 1:05 pm

      Mary Joe Kopechne was not available for comment…

    7. Brian on May 20th, 2008 1:36 pm

      I myself have suffered a traumatic brain injury during my military service in the mid-60′s. I had to undergo significant brain surgery, since some of it had been blown away by the impact of shrapnel. To my good fortune, I have been able to live a fairly normal life, but have not been able to avoid occasional seizures, except they are now controlled by medication. Brain injuries and tumors are not an easy thing to deal with. If the person lives, they are forever in some degree of danger of reocurrance, or further injury.

      While I’m not a fan of Ted Kennedy, I emphasize and sypmathize with him and his family. He’s got a long road to healing, assuming the tumor is not of an aggressive nature, which could shorten his life span significantly. If it is aggressive, he will live somewhat near one year. If not aggressive, he will live somewhat near 5 years. His ability to function during those periods of time, will probably me minimized to a good degree.

    8. Miss Katie on May 20th, 2008 1:40 pm

      lol booker
      I was thinking of her as I read this… I believe he was a result of her drowning

      no further comment

    9. Maggie on May 20th, 2008 1:46 pm

      My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, after surgery and chemo, beat that.. then spinal cancer, chemo beat that, then was diagnosed with brain cancer. She had surgery, but it was inoperable. More chemo.. was in the hospital about 90 days. She lived about 3 months on chemo. Not an easy thing to watch a loved one endure.

      Was never a fan of Ted Kennedy’s.. I know he has done some good things.. I always had questions about the Michael Smith trial.. I believe Ted was the alibi. Today I heard , Bob Beckett, a Democratic stratagist talking about Mr. Kennedy about all the family has endured and when he got to the part about Mary Jo Kopechne, he was saying what Ted went through over it and referred to Ms. Kopechne as that woman, never did use her name, made me think about Natalee… 6 single women and 6 married men without their wives celebrating their work for Bobby Kennedy’s campaign in a cottage and then waiting 10 hours to call police after Ms Kopechne went in the water.. I believe Ted got his cousin and a friend to go back to the water they said , but they were afraid of being swept out to sea, due to the tidal waves, that later proved to be going the opposite of what they said. Watched Mary’s family on tv years ago and they said they never even got an apology. Imagine if this happened today with a Congressman?

      I always liked Caroline and John Jr. Thought Jackie did an excellent job raising them. I think some of them like walking on the edge. I do think the Kennedy family has done some great things for some good causes. I also believe the name Kennedy has spared them at times too. Rose endured so much.

      That being said,, My thoughts go out to him and his family to get well soon.

    10. Tamikosmom on May 20th, 2008 1:48 pm

      6. Booker on May 20th, 2008 1:05 pm

      Mary Joe Kopechne was not available for comment…


      Booker … thank you.

      Mary Joe Kopechne never received justice … after all these years accountability for the death of this young woman has remained elusive.

      I pray that that today’s revelation will imply that Ted Kennedy will come to a place where he will bow … repent … reveal all … beg God for forgiveness … beg Mary Joe’s family for forgiveness.

      Something akin to Natalee Holloway’s family … the family of Mary Jo deserves to be afforded a measure of closure by revealing the truth involving the events of that fateful morning.


    11. always 1 on May 20th, 2008 1:53 pm

      76 years old, I would tell them just to make me as comfortable as possible – no surgery – no chemo-no radiation…

    12. Maggie on May 20th, 2008 1:54 pm

      oops my bad.not Michael Smith.. William Kennedy Smith…. was thinking of Michael Skakel..

    13. richard on May 20th, 2008 1:56 pm

      I wonder if one of the Kennedy clan will do a Hillary Clinton maneuver … just as she made New York state her ‘home,’ maybe one of them will go back to Massachusetts.

      My stomach churns at the idea that Caroline Kennedy might be thinking about this … there’s already a Kennedy involved in Rhode Island politics … but who knows? I imagine that the senatorial seat will be safe for anyone with the fabled Kennedy name. I hope I’m proven wrong.

      A historical aside: before his assassination, John F. Kennedy was never as popular in New England as myth would have it. Hard to believe today, I know … but back then, the issue of his being Catholic was a very real concern.

      I can remember my parents, who were lower-middle class and blue collar, being very concerned about that issue. Like all the rest of the nation, they were bowled over with anguish at the assassination (yet another thing that nobody at the time could believe, in those days of innocence), and yet my town voted against renaming any of the schools after JFK, thinking that it was being done everywhere anyway.

    14. always 1 on May 20th, 2008 2:04 pm

      we are only promised “three score and ten” Psalms, I think, and Ted Kennedy played hard..

    15. Bearlyhere on May 20th, 2008 2:42 pm

      My prayers go out to the Kennedy family at this time.

      The Kennedy Family is responsible for starting and maintaining the Special Olympics which now serves more than 2.5 million people with intellectual challenges.

      They pushed for rights, health care, and personhood of those with intellectual challenges.

    16. fltc on May 20th, 2008 2:48 pm

      Will he use medical marijuana to help with the pain and nausea? Or he could try to shrink his tumor. Google [pot shrinks brain tumors]

    17. always 1 on May 20th, 2008 3:51 pm

      cancer doesnt migrate from the brain to other parts of your body, but if I had to be operated on for cancer, I always thought I would want my body temperature lowered to nth degree. That way, all youre body functions would be slowed and maybe, a cancer call would not break off and travel somewhere else to become deadly at another time.

    18. Excellent on May 20th, 2008 4:36 pm

      I am not surprised at the finding, we always knew he has a diseased mind.

    19. Roy on May 20th, 2008 5:08 pm

      Would Kennedy’s cancer treatment be allowed by the British Health System?

      Given his age and advanced cancer, I’ll bet the socialized medicine machine certainly would not have paid for that $10000 helicopter ride that Mr. Kennedy got from his private island paradise.

      Let’s let Ted go over to Great Britain to have the doctors at the National Health Service treat his cancer.

      Of course, I would think that he’d be denied cancer therapy as Ann Marie Rogers (a breast cancer patient) was denied an anticancer drug by the British court. Too bad she was not allowed to buy private health insurance by the socialized medicine folks in England.

      Sorry, Ted, no cancer treatment for you. Health care rationing, you know.

      Also, Ted Kennedy is going to have to eventually answer for Mary Jo Kopechne, in this life or after. Ted, it’s getting about time to fess up to your past.

    20. cuthean on May 20th, 2008 5:19 pm

      too bad this didnt happen in 1964…..I hope he’s in an aware vegetative state and loses all bodily functions……he can have one of the many disgusting groups he’s pandered to all these years at the expense of the former america scrape the shit out of his a$$hole.

    21. bill on May 20th, 2008 7:08 pm

      This cretin belongs in prison not the US senate.
      He is a disgusting,lying,adulterous, liberal pig who has done more to destroy the morals, and constitution of this country than any man i can think of.
      To fat ted….AMF…and not soon enough!

    22. Rory on May 20th, 2008 9:21 pm

      Ted Kennedy left Mary Jo Kopechne to drown in his car. Mary Jo could have been rescued and revived if he had not ran off like a scared rabbit. He was married and was cheating on his wife with his bimbo. Ted Kennedy waited 10 HOURS to report the crime. Kennedy has NO HONOR and is a scoundrel, a liar, and a murder. Kennedy would take your gun away TODAY if he could so that you could not even protect your own family. I say, God take him quickly, the sooner the better.

    23. caesu on May 20th, 2008 10:18 pm

      nice few last comments revealing a lot of disgust and hatred.
      talking about destroyed morals…
      the hypocrisy…

    24. Miss-Underestimated on May 21st, 2008 6:26 am

      Truly alot of good points brought up here.
      19. Is that the result of US taxpayers into the Royal’s healthcare?

      16. Will the Royal’s healthcare allow for medical weed use?

      Fellow monkeys you really brought up alot of issues to think about. Let’s see how this plays out.

      BWT, did the estate of JFK Jr. pay for the search and discovery of his crash? Do you think Clinton would have done that for me or you?

    25. david r on May 21st, 2008 9:58 am

      I don’t wish this stuff on anyone, but I imagine the news of Kennedy’s health crisis did not make much of an impression on the Kopechne family. Or Robert Bork. Maybe the family can recruit William Kennedy Smith to run for something. The rest of the young ones have killed themselves off.

    26. brenda on May 21st, 2008 10:41 am

      To Brian…first, thank you for your service and sacrifice for our country. I love our brave troops!

      2nd, there is a website called organized by Col. Monaco. It is a support network for veterans, current military personnel, military contractors, and all of the families of such. I believe everything on there is free for veterans and it may be a network you’d enjoy being a part of.

      From what I’ve read about this, many troups who sustained injury have found alot of helpful material as well as those who are tormented by PTSD (not that you have it, but for those who do), anger, depression…especially over injury, the terrible way the news media and liberal elected officials speak of our armed forces, and lots more.


    27. Ted Kennedy, “Let’s Keep it in the Family … Give my Senate Seat to my Wife” … What is this Feudal England? | Scared Monkeys on May 22nd, 2008 11:50 am

      [...] the news of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy’s grave diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor comes news that he wants his wife, Vicki Kennedy, to succeed him. So much [...]

    28. Ray on May 22nd, 2008 8:42 pm

      #6 Booker
      You say so much with so few word. When I think of Ted Kennedy,I also think of Mary Jo Kopechne.

    29. Ray on May 22nd, 2008 9:02 pm

      If Ted had not been a Kennedy he would have become a convicted falon not a US Senator. He reminds of Joran Van De Sloot. No Conscious In my opinion.

    30. Senator Ted Kennedy Undergoing Surgery for Malignant Brain Tumor at Duke Medical Center | Scared Monkeys on June 2nd, 2008 5:33 am

      [...] The following managed to be a rather well kept secret. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy is presently undergoing surgery at Duke University Medical Center for his previously diagnosed malignant brain tumor. [...]

    31. Frances Graff-Welch on November 9th, 2008 1:22 pm

      I was reading in a magazine the other day where Senator Ted Kennedy was looking for a cure. I have benn in Christian Science for many years and have had many healings including the healing of heart problems. Look up for information on Spiritual healing. The main church is in Boston, Mass. where Mary Baker Eddy over 100 years ago was the discoverer and founder of Christian Science.

    32. Robert Eckert on March 30th, 2009 9:00 pm

      I love the advice you give on tenpin bowling,keep up the great work!If you have a chance stop by my new bowling blog for some extra tips.

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