How devastating! It was revealed on July 19 that six-term U.S. Senator John McCain, 80, has been diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a fast growing brain tumor that turned out to be the cause of the blood clot above his left eye. Surgeons at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix were able to successfully remove it, and he is now at home in Arizona recovering and exploring what his options are next. He’ll likely undergo radiation and chemotherapy, and unfortunately the survival rate at his age from this form of cancer is pretty bleak. We’ve got five things to know about Glioblastoma.
1. Glioblastoma’s symptoms can be subtle.
Some of the signs a patient could be suffering from it include having headaches, exhaustion, visual problems including the double vision that McCain had been complaining of, as well as speech problems. McCain had several strange verbal stumbles during former FBI Director James Comey‘s Senate testimony in June that could have been caused by the tumor’s growth.
2. The survival rate for someone of McCain’s age is grim.
For Glioblastoma patients over 75, the survival rate is the lowest with just 4.7 percent according to Everyday Health. Patients in their 20’s have a nearly 50 percent survival rate and the cancer becomes more deadly the older the patient is.
3. Treatment lasts a minimum of six weeks.
Since the disease is aggressive in its spread, patients are urged to undergo radiation and chemotherapy to stop the possible spread of cancer cells. A minimum treatment window is six weeks. Sadly, the average survival time following that treatment is about 15 to 16 months.
4. Sen. Ted Kennedy died from Glioblastoma.
A similar brain tumor took the life of longtime Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy in 2009. The 77-year-old passed fifteen months after he was diagnosed with the cancer. A similar brain cancer also killed former Vice President Joe Biden‘s son Beau. He died at just 46-years-old after a two year battle.
5. Brain tumors do not spread to other parts of the body.
Unlike most forms of cancer, Glioblastoma does not spread beyond the brain. The tumor kills by interfering with the basic body functions.
HollywoodLifers, send your best wishes for Sen. McCain’s recovery during his brave battle against brain cancer.