News that United States Senator John McCain has brain cancer triggered a wave of support from across the political spectrum for the often outspoken former Republican presidential candidate who survived five years captivity as a US navy pilot during the Vietnam War.
McCain, 80, had surgery last week for a blood clot above his left eye. His office said late yesterday that the procedure revealed an aggressive form of brain tumour known as glioblastoma.
Wellwishers for a politician who is known for his independent streak and who has never been shy of criticising White House actions included Republican President Donald Trump and former Democratic President Barack Obama.
McCain’s diagnosis cast a pall on Capitol Hill, Republican Senator John Thune said, calling McCain a hero to many.
“He is a warrior,” Thune told CBS This Morning programme. “I’ve seen him work guys half his age into the ground. He’s a remarkable individual.”
McCain, who ran for the White House in 2008, last year won a sixth term in the Senate, where he chairs the armed services committee.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who earlier this month travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan with McCain, tweeted: “Trust me, John’s in fighting shape.”
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and most deadly form of brain and nervous system tumour, typically killing half its victims within a year. Patients rarely survive more than three years.
It is the same type of tumour that killed Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and, more recently, former US Vice President Joe Biden’s son Beau.
McCain’s doctors said he was recovering from surgery well and praised his underlying health as excellent. His doctors said he had no sign of neurological impairment before or during his surgery.