The announcement that Senator John McCain has an aggressive type of brain tumor has stunned Capitol Hill and the nation.
Officials at Wheeling Hospital offered more insight into Glioblastoma, its treatment, and its long term possibilities.
Around 12,400 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States, and the average survival is anywhere from six months to three years.
“The course of treatment is surgery, as complete a resection as possible, followed by adequate rehabilitation and followed by then chemotherapy and radiation therapy,” said Wheeling Hospital Radiation Oncologist Dr. Jondavid Pollock.
Dr. Pollock said the treatments can have side effects including rash, infection, fatigue, nausea, hair loss and confusion. And surgery is difficult because the tumor has offshoots.
But the doctor says there is hope for these patients, “I don’t give up on it. I’m very optimistic about our treatments. We do have long term survivors. Their survivorship and their inspiration is what keeps us going.”
Glioblastoma took the life of Senator Ted Kennedy in 2009, and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Beau in 2015.