Rare Disease Report

McCain Back at Work 10 Days after Brain Surgery

JULY 25, 2017
James Radke
Just 10 days after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor in his brain, Arizona Senator John McCain is back at work in Washington D.C. to work on a number of issues, including a critical vote on whether to begin the debate that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.
McCain has glioblastoma, and underwent a 3 -4 hour surgery to remove the tumor on July 14th. The very aggressive brain cancer is characterized by early symptoms that vary patient-to-patient, but may include memory and speech difficulties. Reportedly, McCain suffered from impaired vision in recent weeks.
It is unlikely that the tumor was completely removed during last week’s surgery, and the Senator will likely require additional chemotherapy and radiation therapy in the coming weeks once he has recovered. In the typical prognosis for people with glioblastoma, the median survival time is less than 15 months. Only 30% of patients live longer than 2 years. 
Surprising to few, McCain is once again showing his innate survival abilities with images from some nature walks  just 1 week after brain surgery.
In Washington, McCain is expected to vote in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) which has many in the rare disease community concerned.
Yesterday, the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD) issued a statement that repealing the Affordable Care Act could mean people with chronic rare diseases could lose access to Medicaid (and the orphan drugs, specialty hospitals, specialists, and programs covered by Medicaid). 

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