Kennedy Diagnosed with Malignant Brain Tumor

May 20, 2008 02:28 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Doctors said on Tuesday that Masachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s recent seizure was caused by a malignant glioma.

30-Second Summary

"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 his doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Senator Kennedy, 76, suffered a seizure over the weekend while at his family's compound in Hyannisport, Mass.

He will probably require radiation and chemotherapy to treat the tumor, according to his doctors.

His outlook will not be apparent for at least a few days, but his prognosis will depend on the tumor's characteristics and the patient himself, says brain cancer survivor Bernadine Healy, M.D., in U.S. News & World Report. "If there is one thing we know about this patient, it's that he's a determined fighter," Healy says.

Malignant gliomas make up more than half of the 18,000 primary malignant brain tumors that are diagnosed every year, CNN reported.

According to the American Brain Tumor Association, gliomas arise out of the brain's supportive tissue; the word "malignant" refers to a tumor with cells that look very different from normal cells.

Kennedy is one of only six people in American history to serve for more than 40 years in the Senate, where he has represented Massachusetts since 1962.

He was slated to speak at Wesleyan University's commencement on May 25.

Headline Link: 'Ted Kennedy has brain tumor'

Opinion & Analysis: 'Ted Kennedy's Brain Cancer Can Be Fought'

Key Player: Edward M. Kennedy

Related Topics: Wesleyan commencement

Reference: Brain tumors


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