Upstate Oncologist Discusses McCain’s Cancer Diagnosis

Greenville, S.C (WSPA) An Upstate oncologist says the cancerous tumor Senator John McCain is fighting is one of the most aggressive he’s ever treated.

“They have a nasty tendency to recur and that remains our major problem in controlling them,” said Dr. Robert Siegel with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System.

Senator McCain’s tumor is called a “glioblastoma,” which doctors say is formed in brain tissue, unlike other tumors that are caused by a spreading cancer. The tumor was discovered after a recent surgery to remove a blood clot from behind his eye.

The Arizona senator recently underwent surgery to remove a blod clot from behind his eye and that’s when the tumor was discovered. His family announced the news Wednesday night. The diagnosis stunned many in Washington including South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, McCain’s longtime friend.

“We talked about five minutes,” said Graham. It’s going to be a tough week for him but he said “I’ve been through worse.”

It’s unclear what causes glioblastomas to form. Doctors often use standard radiation and chemotherapy treatments to fight the tumors. Researchers at Duke University have seen success in using a non-lethal form of the polio virus in clinical trials.
that treatment worked on an upstate nurse diagnosed with that cancer, who is now in remission.

“How any individual is going to respond is up to that individual, their own physical capacity and up to, quite frankly, the characteristics of the tumor,” said Siegel.

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