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May 20, 2008

Breaking: AP Reports Ted Kennedy Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

Just over the air on Fox.

Malignant, in left parietal lobe.

More: It's apparently a glioma (sp? -- no clue), which is a bad type of the bad sort of tumor. It's fast-spreading, aggressive.

More: Well, now they're saying there are different types of gliomas. Some are treatable; others are too aggressive and present almost no chance for survival past one year.

More: Many of the doctors being interviewed seem to think the signs are quite bad, and that it's likely the almost-unsurvivable sort of glioma.

Oddly, I've heard at least two reporters speaking of Ted Kennedy in the past tense, which you'd think they'd be on guard against.

Readers Offer Their Expertise:


As the report said, it depends on the specific type of glioma. Among others, there are oligodendrogliomas and astrocytomas. Each of those is graded by severity. A grade-4 astrocytoma, AKA Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) -- which IIRC accounts for about 60% of gliomas -- has a 5-year survival rate of about 2%, more typically a year or less.

(FTR, my mom died from a GBM. Time from diagnosis to death, 3 months.)


Well, this is a pretty dire diagnosis. Malignant Gliomas infiltrate the surrounding areas, so even with surgery they often grow back. When they have reached seizure stage, they are fairly advanced as the tumor is putting pressure on the brain causing the seizure. Sadly, I think Kennedy has most likely received the worst prognosis, and likely has 1 to 3 years left.

Most of the talking-head doctors offer hope for the less aggressive type of glioma but keep suggesting that, based on what little they know, it's more likely the more deadly sort.

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posted by Ace at 01:10 PM

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