University of Minnesota Dr. on why McCain likely stopped his cancer treatment

“Many patients who have felt their contribution to the world and their family has been complete."

Edgar Linares
August 24, 2018 - 7:02 pm

(Photo by PA Images/Sipa USA)


Heartbreaking news from Arizona Senator John McCain (R), as the family of the war hero announced he would no longer seek medical treatment for his brain cancer.

Dr. Clark Chen is the head of the University of Minnesota's Department of Neurosurgery. He says he’s not surprised to hear the 81-year-old Senator decided to stop treatment.

“Many patients who have felt their contribution to the world and their family has been complete would see this as a natural progression rather than a catastrophic death,” said Dr. Chen.

It was a little over a year ago when Senator McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, which can only be treated with a specific type of chemotherapy. Dr. Chen says glioblastoma is one of “the most aggressive cancers known to man."

The doctor says McCain’s decision to stop treatment tells him two things: either he’s exhausted all available clinical trials and treatments, or McCain’s quality of life has been greatly impacted.

“What this disease does is it slowly erodes those qualities that define who we are,” said Chen. “Patients, depending on where the tumor is, lose their ability to move, to comprehend, to speak, to see. And so the impact of this disease on the quality of life is perhaps more drastic and more dramatic than other forms of cancer.”

McCain retreated from public life to fight the disease at his home in Arizona. His wife Cindy McCain wrote in a tweet, "I love my husband with all of my heart. God bless everyone who has cared for my husband along this journey."

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