Sen. Ted Kennedy

Posted Sun, 09/06/2009 – 00:14 by Kcancer

In Memory of Senator Edward Kennedy

Senator Edward Kennedy suffered a seizure at his home on Cape Cod, Mass on May 17, 2008: This incident led to his diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant glioma, in his left parietal lobe, by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital on May 20, 2008. The diagnosis was based on the biopsy and subsequent pathologic analysis. Kennedy left Massachusetts General Hospital for his home on Cape Cod, Mass., on May 21 2008 and began his battle against the deadly disease.

On Jun 3, 2008, Kennedy selected surgeons at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, to have surgery and to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Doctors considered the procedure a success. After surgery, Kennedy returned home in Massachusetts and underwent follow-up radiation treatment and chemotherapy.

The prognosis for brain tumors like Kennedy’s is very poor, with only a 50 percent survival rate within the first year of diagnosis, and only three months of survival if left untreated. Kennedy lost his battle on brain cancer on August 25, 2009. He survived 14 months after he was diagnosed. The length of time Kennedy lived after he learned of the tumor was a testament to his steadfastness and he was able to wage against this particularly aggressive form of cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 25,000 malignant brain tumors will be diagnosed in the US and about 13,000 people will die from these tumors in 2009.

The death of Kennedy marks the end of an era, but his optimism, perseverance and spirit will live on in our hearts forever. We at Kcancer will carry the torch of Kennedy to continue the war against cancer.