Sen. John McCain died on Saturday, more than a year after the diagnosis of an aggressive brain tumor glioblastoma.
On Friday, his family said in a statement that McCain had made the decision to discontinue medical treatment.
Unlike other brain tumors that begin in the body and spread to the brain, glioblastoma begins in the brain or spinal cord. The tumor arises from star-shaped brain cells known as "astrocytes". The American Brain Tumor Association describes the tumor as "very malignant" and cancerous as it can invade normal brain tissue and stay there.
The Senator Underwent Surgery Remove a blood clot in July 2017 at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. Laboratory findings confirm the presence of glioblastoma
Glioblastoma is the most common of all malignant brain tumors and accounts for 1
This form of the tumor killed Sen Ted Kennedy and Beau Biden, son of the former Vice President Joe Biden
Symptoms of Glioblastoma
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta spoke in 2017 with the approval of his family, the doctors involved in McCain.
Gupta said he learned that McCain felt tired in the months leading up to his diagnosis and had double blindness, but attributed it to his intense travel plan.
The doctors ordered a CT scan and an MRI scan of McCain's brain revealing the tumor.
The symptoms of glioblastoma are mostly a result of increased brain pressure
The American Brain Tumor Association lists headache, nausea, vomiting and drowsiness as symptoms of the tumor. However, depending on where the tumor is, weakness on one side of the body, memory and speech difficulties, and visual changes can be developed as a result.
There is no specific treatment that is used for glioblastoma, but there are a few approaches that doctors can make, Gupta said.
"This is a malignant cancer, which in this case means you are working on it," he said. "It also needs to be treated with chemo and radiation."
If a cancer is malignant, it means that cells can divide uncontrollably and invade nearby tissues. They can also spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
Brain tumor association characterizes the prognosis for glioblastoma survival in terms of median survival, the length of time an equal number of patients do it better, and an equal number of patients worse. Depending on the type of glioblastoma and the treatment used, this can be between 14 months and three years.
The association also cites a 2009 study that found that 10% of patients with glioblastoma can live five years or longer.
The average survival time for malignant glioblastoma is about 14 months with treatment, Gupta said.