John McCain’s Cancer Progresses, Arizona Senator Discontinues Treatment For Glioblastoma

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With more than one year gone by since Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, the Republican lawmaker’s family announced in a statement on Friday that the disease has progressed and that he has made the decision to stop receiving treatment.

“Last summer, Senator John McCain shared with Americans the news our family already knew: he had been diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma, and the prognosis was serious,” the statement read, as quoted by CNN.

“In the year since, John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of [the] disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict. With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”

Additionally, McCain’s family expressed their gratitude to the people who took care of the senator since he was first diagnosed with cancer and also thanked his friends, coworkers, and the “many thousands of people” who have kept him in their prayers for their continued support.

Separate from the family statement, John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, tweeted about her father’s decision to discontinue his cancer treatment, also thanking his supporters for their prayers and for giving the family the “strength to carry on.” The senator’s wife, Cindy McCain, likewise said on Twitter that she loves her husband “with all of [her] heart,” while also showing appreciation for the care and support over the past year. Republican and Democrat lawmakers alike, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, also offered their thoughts and prayers to McCain and his family, according to CNN.

John McCain was first diagnosed with cancer in July 2017, when doctors at the Mayo Clinic found during surgery to remove a blood clot that the Republican senator had a tumor known as a glioblastoma. According to the Washington Post, this was the same form of brain cancer that had taken the life of Senator Ted Kennedy in 2009, 15 months after his tumor was first detected. Beau Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, had also died after being diagnosed with the same type of tumor, the New York Times wrote.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper in September of last year, John McCain admitted that he was given a “very poor prognosis” by his doctors. But even with his battle with brain cancer in mind, he remained positive during the interview, saying that he and his family were planning at the time to “get the best doctors we can find,” while also “[celebrating] with gratitude a life well lived.”