Kennedy has malignant brain tumor

KennedyMalignant glioma, treatment consists of radiation and chemotherapy, but outlook is grim.

Statement from Mass. General.

Information on malignant glioma from the National Cancer Institute: "The outlook for patients with malignant gliomas is poor." More from the Journal of the AMA.

Dan Kennedy, however, notes that Arlen Spector has been serving in the Senate since the 1990s despite battling various types of cancer, including a brain tumor.

Photo by Will White.



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      ted kennedy

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      when i was a little guy (in the 70's) my father took me to a political rally in newton.i guess in the 70's little kids could get separated from the parents without something terrible happening. i just remember crying and asking somebody to find my daddy.ted kennedy picked me up, brought me up to the podium and made an announcement that i was lost and looking for my dad. i was too young to realize who he was but i remember my dad telling my mom when we got home and then telling everyone else for the next 30 years.

      my prayers go out to sen kennedy and his family. i lost my dad to cancer four years ago and i know how difficult it can be.


      A punch in the stomach

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      It took the wind right out my sails to hear this terrible news. My bet would be that our Senator will live with this a good long time longer than anyone expects.


      I find it odd that all major news blogs will not allow anything bad to be said about Ted Kennedy. But I am going to say something anyway--I find it hypocritical of him to be given the best medical care, being whisked away in helicopters inorder to avoid long waiting hours in an ER and to basically say to the health care work he has apparently done over the years, "who cares, I actually need help now and I can't be kept waiting on an HMO type system!" I honestly feel he should be put through the motions any typical American would have to go through in this situation.

      I personally have had eleven brain surgeries for my tumor, but some of them were cancelled because of my lack of health coverage and at other times business office representatives would come knocking on my ICU door demanding 400,000 dollars for unpaid neurosurgery bills. I was shunted around and around, and had to wait and wait to get MRIs, to get admitted, to get diagnosed, to get a biopsy, and this guy gets diagnosed in 48 hours???

      Not right Ted! Not at all!


      I'm sorry to hear about your troubles and understand your anger.

      I know its unfair that those who can afford it get the finest medical care, our health care system is obviously broken, but I wish the Senator nothing but the best.

      He helped me once when I was sick and had no insurance, and I'll be forever grateful to him. All my family had to do was ask, and he was there for us. Didn't know us from a hole in the wall.

      Senator Kennedy has been working to change the system for a long time and actually practices what he preaches. I'm living proof.

      The median is not the message

      One reason for the "typical" or "average" survival in years: advanced age at diagnosis. There are other factors involved here that could make "average" into "meaningless", such as the difference between population metrics and individual experience.

      See also Steven Jay Gould's essay on his own experience with cancer and the idiocy of statistics that are used to prescribe a prognosis rather than describe a risk distribution.

      Unless this is a glioblastoma or turns into one, he could actually live quite a long time - long enough to die of something else given his prior lifestyle and storied personal habits. Bear in mind that his mother lived more than a century.

      I wish him all the luck to be a living lesson about "grim" and "average". I hope he was watching the game Lesterday evening, too.

      Who do we send?

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      Assuming Ted wants to get out of politics sooner rather than later, who is the next Dem that the state is going to want to send in his place to the Senate?

      I can't think of a candidate around the state right now who seems deserving of consideration.

      the shortlist

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      joe.not my first choice but he has been laying low for a long time and theres still plenty of old ladies in this state.

      Good one

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      Wow, I had forgotten about Barney. Yeah, I could see myself putting Barney Frank in Ted's place if he wants to go to the Senate.

      the downside

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      But if Frank goes to the Senate, he loses ALL of his seniority (including committee chairs) in the House. That would be quite a setback for Mass.'s clout there.

      Ed Markey

      Markey has a national profile.

      He's also my rep, which makes him better for everybody than your rep, right?;-)

      absolutely not

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      Why? Because the man is about as obsessed with "national security" (or lack thereof), and when he isn't screaming for lynchings, he's pontificating endlessly about how everything is vulnerable to terrorist attack. He falls squarely into the category of assholes who pander to ignorance and fear, rather than civil liberties.


      Um, try another description, please.

      Then again, I tend to go on my actual interactions with a rep and his staff rather than read a bunch of Wired immaturity screeds.


      Not a constituent, but ...

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      I've always found him to be kind of a pompous gasbag. He'd have to work a lot harder to convince me to vote for him than Frank (whom I also don't get to vote for).

      Far more important, however, is that, despite the impression you'd get from the wall-to-wall TV coverage this afternoon, Ted Kennedy isn't dead yet!


      Resisting Monty Python Retort Here ...

      He isn't dead and he may yet live many years.

      However, retirement is very likely at this point, given that most men his age are puttering around the garden anyway and he is facing serious down time in any possible future.

      I tend to go off of his record

      By on publicly demanding that a security researcher be arrested- a self-admitted knee-jerk reaction. He immediately and without so much as even bothering to look at the guy's website, issued an extremely inflammatory press release. It was careless, prejudicial, and self-aggrandizing.

      He's happy to stand in front of TV cameras and pontificate about how we need more "security" at (insert some part of civil infrastructure), but he can't grasp the slightest nuances of security. His PR stunt with the boarding passes had a level of sophistication I'd expect from a half-drunk football player, not someone who actually sits on "homeland security" committees. Also, if he'd been paying attention, he'd know that a colleague had already shown how insecure boarding passes were.

      There would have to be a

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      There would have to be a special election between 145 and 160 days after he leaves office.

      State law used to specify that the Governor would appoint an interim replacement, but the Democrats in the Legislature shamelessly changed the law in 2004 to maintain their stranglehold on power when it looked like Mitt Romney might get to appoint a Republican interim Senator if Kerry managed to get elected.

      Not that it's really going to matter in this state.

      Specter Had a Benign Growth

      This is different.

      Doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center used the ''gamma knife'' procedure to administer radiation on the benign growth near the left front part of his skull. His doctor, L. Dade Lunsford, the hospital's chief of neurosurgery, said the procedure was successful 98 percent of the time.


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      must have left his i hate the patriots scalpel in specters head.

      More Kennedy reaction

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      W. David Stephenson: We love you, Teddy!

      They just don't make them like our senator: he's not only terribly effective on behalf of the Commonwealth, but we share him with everyone who cares about the poor and disadvantaged worldwide. Fight on, Senator Kennedy!

      Moxie recalls going to a Senate hearing in 2000:

      ... I was starstruck because, in the back of the room, joshing around with his favorite reporters, was Ted Kennedy and no Senate hearing could compete with him. Red-faced (you could literally SEE the years of drinking), rotund, with that iconic smile dancing around his face, it felt like being 15 feet away from history. Which I guess in a way it was. He was effortlessly at ease in what was shortly a target-rich viper pit (the election was like a week away), and I could see immediately why he was on a pedestal, why the Kennedy legend was still alive. I was too young for all the dramatic Kennedy stuff, but it still broke my heart to hear that Ted Kennedy has brain cancer. ...

      Ed Deevy: As far a I am concerned the poor had no greater champion in the United States Senate than Senator Kennedy.

      Margalit: This is devastating news to the people of Massachusetts, and to all Americans.

      Julia Spitz: I hope this time their optimistic scuttlebutt turns out to be right.

      Eileen: Best wishes to him for a complete and rapid recovery:

      Despite the criticism of his personal life, Ted Kennedy is one of my all-time favorite politicians and someone I admire and respect as a true liberal. ...

      Littlestar: If praying is your thing, this may be a good time...

      Marie: Our prayers are with the Senator, his family and all those who know and love this "liberal lion" and son of Massachusetts.

      Scott Allen Miller wishes him well:

      ... I don't like Kennedy. I don't like his policies and philosophies. I want the people of Massachusetts to wake up and vote him out of the Senate. I don't want him dead or suffering. ...

      BostonMaggie: My only question - Does it hurt more than drowning?

      Notice from

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      Notice from

      Notice to visitors

      May 20, 2008

      Sen. Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The proprietors of this website wish the senior senator a speedy recovery from his illness, and will be monitoring the situation closely as we decide the future of this website.

      Thank you for your understanding.

      Howie Carr

      Too much coverage?

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      Michael Page has been jumping from one station and network to another all afternoon and concludes:

      ... I feel like a lot of the stations are talking like he has passed away, hearing from colleagues who are speaking so highly of him. This clearly is a major story, but is it such a story that requires hours of non-stop coverage? We only know limited information, so we are hearing the same things over and over again. ...

      But Brian is put out that Howie Carr is actually treading softly today:

      ... I think Howie is going overboard censoring every caller who steps slightly out of line (whatever that is) on the Ted K topic. Carr's never tried to create a "nice" persona, so why start now?

      I'm not saying it's time to lash out at the Kennedys, but I think a happy medium could be found.

      I'm not proud, I listen to Howie every afternoon at work

      He's local, actually understands how things work around
      here. (Silly me, I took a job in the Dreaded Private
      Sector. Who knew that those relatively low-paid public
      sector salaries translated into damned good pensions
      on the other end?)

      I listened to him tonite just before they cut to
      Red Sox pre-game. I thought that he was doing exactly
      what talk radio should do--letting people talk.
      Most of the callers had relatives that had suffered
      the same or similar diseases. He let them talk about
      it. Maybe it was bad Howie, but it was good radio,
      given the news.

      And defending himself wrt to taking the high road,
      he said it was his own decision, because he doesn't talk
      "to management" at WRKO. That was both good Howie and
      good radio.

      Given the choice, trashing Regan and Entercomm rather
      than a suffering Teddy K. was certainly the way to go.

      that explains it...

      the pressure from the tumor on his brain was impacting his speech.... he really meant to endorse Hillary