By Ryan Lau | USA
Last Friday, John McCain underwent a minor surgery removing a blood clot from above his left eye. Unfortunately for the eighty-year-old Senator from Arizona, however, this was not the end of his struggles.
This Wednesday, Senator McCain’s doctors at the Mayo Clinic revealed that he has been struggling with an aggressive case of brain cancer. What appeared to be merely a five-centimeter blood clot was also an aggressive tumor, known as a glioblastoma.
Though the tumor was removed later in the day Friday, doctors do not have a positive outlook in regards to whether or not the entire cancer was removed.
“Glioblastoma send out fingers deep into the brain,” says Andrew S. Chi, M.D., head neuro-oncologist at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center. “There will always be cells that move beyond the borders of what you can see on an MRI. That’s one reason why it’s so deadly.”
Following the news, Senator McCain is considering a number of treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, though Chi noted that glioblastomas “are inherently resistant” to both forms of treatment.
The outlook for most glioblastomas is incredibly poor. The median survival rate after diagnosis ranges between one and three years, with less than one in ten living for five years beyond diagnosis.
Despite the uncertainty and seemingly grim future, Senator McCain hopes to be back to his job within a relatively short time frame. His office released a recent statement claiming that he is recovering “amazingly well” from the process, though the statement did not give a clear answer regarding the status of future treatments.
Senator McCain is currently in his Arizona home, recovering with his family, though many, including his close friend Senator Lindsey Graham, believe this resting period will be short-lived.
“One thing John has never been afraid of is his death,” the South Carolina Senator noted Wednesday, following a phone call with Senator McCain, who later tweeted, “I’ll be back – so stand by!”
Though the exact time of his return is entirely up in the air, many are abandoning political divides and wishing the senator a quick and healthy recovery, including Former President Barack Obama, McCain’s Presidential opponent in 2008.
“John is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I’ve ever known. Cancer doesn’t know what it’s up against. Give it hell, John,” Former President Obama tweeted Thursday.