Looks like the suspicions many people had were correct.
It appears from the reporting the initial operation removed cancerous tissue (a tumor), not necessarily a ‘blood clot’ as originally reported, and clear margins were achieved. Unfortunately this type of cancer can quickly spread to the brain stem where the primary function of respiration can become quickly affected.
(CNN) – Sen. John McCain, 80, has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor, Mayo Clinic doctors directly involved in the senator’s care told CNN exclusively. The doctors spoke directly to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
The senator underwent surgery to remove a blood clot on Friday at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Lab results from that surgery confirmed the presence of brain cancer associated with the blood clot.
Glioblastoma is a particularly aggressive tumor that forms in the tissue of the brain and spinal cord, according to the American Brain Tumor Association.
A pathologist was in the operating room during the procedure, a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision, said his doctor, who added that the surgery lasted about three to four hours. Post-surgical brain scans show the tissue causing concern has been completely removed.
[…] McCain is now recovering at his Arizona home. He and his family are considering treatment options, which will likely include radiation and chemotherapy, his doctors said. (read more)
It should be noted that chemotherapy has almost no reasonable way to offer a positive treatment outcome. The process of chemotherapy itself is only possible because the blood brain barrier protects the brain from the effects of chemo itself.
Because of this inherent and natural physiological defense system, when dealing with a brain cancer traditional chemo-treatment most often cannot get to the source of the rapid cellular compromise caused by the growth of cancer.
Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the entire McCain family.