Just days after Sen. John McCain was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland due to side effects from his brain cancer treatment, there are growing concerns about the Arizona Republican’s health. Several senators have spoken out about McCain, 81, noting that he is frail and was unusually quiet during GOP meetings he attended before he was hospitalized earlier this week.
McCain was diagnosed with primary glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor, in July. He returned to the Senate floor less than a week after his diagnosis and, up until now, has been working while undergoing treatments for what the Washington Post states is “an aggressive, highly lethal type of cancer.”
During an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) stated that McCain is “very frail and we’re concerned,” and offered prayers to the Arizona Senator and his wife, Cindy.
CNN notes that one of their sources in the Senate mentioned that McCain’s “lack of participation” at recent GOP meetings is “not normal,” noting that he “always used to speak up at these meetings.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) told CNN that Sen. McCain is being treated for the side effects of the cancer treatment and is “trying to rest up.” Graham feels “confident” that McCain will return to work, but CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, explains that the prognosis for this type of brain cancer is rather grim.
During a live report on CNN on Thursday, Gupta said the symptoms McCain may be experiencing could be due to the regrowth of the tumor combined with side effects from treatment. He went on to say that side effects from radiation can lead to the brain “swelling near the tumor, damage in the brain, headaches, weakness, and lethargy.”
Matthias Holdhoff, associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University, told the Washington Post that the type of brain cancer Sen. John McCain has is “considered not curable.” Survival time following treatment is typically 12 to 16 months.
Although there are concerns about Sen. John McCain’s health, his reported weakness and lethargy is not affecting his ability to clap back at President Donald Trump. He took to Twitter on Wednesday to criticize Trump’s “fake news” claims.
“@pressfreedom’s annual report shows record # of journalists imprisoned worldwide in 2017, including 21 on “fake news” charges,” McCain tweeted. “@POTUS must understand his harmful rhetoric only empowers repressive regimes to jail reporters & silence the truth.”