Doctors Say Senator Ted Kennedy Has A Malignant Brain Tumor

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There are no words to express the sadness over the news on Ted Kennedy’s condition. Doctors from Mass General Hospital announced today that kennedy has “a cancerous brain tumor” that caused the “seizure Sen. Edward M. Kennedy suffered over the weekend.”

He remains in good spirits and full of energy,” the doctors for the 76-year-old Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement.

They said tests conducted after the seizure showed a tumor in Kennedy’s left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma, they said.

His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.

Senator Kennedy has been hospitalized at Mass General in Boston since Saturday after being airlifted from Cape Cod following a seizure at his home.

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

They said Kennedy will remain in the hospital “for the next couple of days according to routine protocol.”

Kennedy’s wife and children have been with him each day since he was hospitalized. Senator Kennedy’s son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., plans to stay at the hospital for the time being.

“Obviously it’s tough news for any son to hear,” said spokeswoman Robin Costello. “He’s comforted by the fact that his dad is such a fighter, and if anyone can get through something as challenging as this, it would be his father. So he’s optimistic, he’s hopeful, but obviously he’s concerned.”

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

They said Kennedy will remain in the hospital “for the next couple of days according to routine protocol.”

AP News notes that “malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year — and the most common type among adults…”

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.

As noted here on Saturday, after the initial news of Kennedy’s illness, Ted Kennedy is the second-longest serving member of the Senate. He has been a “dominant figure in national Democratic Party politics, since he was first elected in 1962, “filling out the term won by his brother, John F. Kennedy.”

Kennedy “was re-elected in 2006 and is not up for election again until 2012.”

As many readers know, I am originally from Massachusetts and have always considered myself to be a Kennedy Democrat. I am deeply saddened by this latest news on Ted Kennedy’s condition. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Good Senator from Massachusetts and his family.

Ted’s a fighter… He has perhaps done more to fight for liberal and progressive causes in his long tenure in the Senate than any of his peers. I hope he’ll be back in there fighting for us soon.

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