Breaking: Ted Kennedy’s seizures caused by malignant brain tumor (UPDATE: 3 YEARS OR LESS TO LIVE?)

CNN reports:

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) – The hospital treating Sen. Edward Kennedy said Tuesday that the Democratic senator has a malignant brain tumor.

The tumor was the cause of his seizure on Saturday, according to a statement from the doctors treating the 76-year-old at Massachusetts General Hospital.

While such tumors are usually treated by a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, Kennedy’s doctors said “decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Senator Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis.”

“Senator Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol.”

Kennedy “remains in good overall condition and is up and walking around the hospital,” the statement said.

He was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital on Saturday, and has remained hospitalized since then.

The AP writes:

Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat said today that preliminary biopsy results showed a malignant glioma in the left parietal-lobe. It was detected after Kennedy, 76, was airlifted to Boston on Saturday after having a seizure at his Cape Cod home.


Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year — and the most common type among adults. It’s a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types — such as glioblastomas — or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.

Surgery can be an option for some types, especially to reduce symptoms as a tumor enlarges and puts pressure on the rest of the brain. Many gliomas infiltrate normal brain tissue instead of forming a solid mass, making it hard to remove much of the tumor.

I had figured something wasn’t quite right, considering he’d been in the hospital for several days. From what I’d heard from the various commentators talking about seizures on Saturday after Kennedy was hospitalized, depending the type and severity of the seizure, you could be up and walking around the same day or the next. Obviously the two seizures he had were a lot more serious in nature.

Update 1 – 7:55 PM: The Boston Globe reports that Kennedy likely has less than three years to live.

My thoughts and prayers go out to both him and his family.

Update 2 – 8:55 PM: Here’s video of Sen. Robert Byrd crying on the Senate floor talking about Kennedy (via HA).

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