Sen. McCain diagnosed with brain tumor after clot removed

John McCain

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. John McCain questions Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on the recently brokered Iran nuclear deal during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, July 29, 2015. (DoD Photo by Glenn Fawcett)

WASHINGTON — Arizona Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain tumor.

The 80-year-old Arizona lawmaker has glioblastoma, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. That’s where McCain had a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday.

He and his family are considering further treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation.

Sen. Jeff Flake, the junior senator from Arizona, says McCain told him about his brain tumor only at the end of a telephone conversation, saying he was “feeling fine, but I might have some chemotherapy in my future.”

Flake says his colleague is “optimistic, obviously. He’s John McCain. That’s what we’d expect.”

The tumor was discovered when doctors removed a blood clot from above McCain’s left eye.

Speaking Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Flake said it is not yet clear when McCain might be able to return to the Senate.

Flake calls him an “elder statesman” and “a steady force, one who stands for the institution and bipartisanship,” adding that he cannot “overstate what an impact he has in the Senate.”

The following statement was provided from the Office of Sen. John McCain:

statement e1500553670678 Sen. McCain diagnosed with brain tumor after clot removed

According to the American Brain Tumor Association, more than 12,000 people a year are diagnosed with glioblastoma. The American Cancer Society puts the five-year survival rate for patients over 55 at about 4 percent.

The senator and chairman of the Armed Services Committee had been recovering at his Arizona home. His absence had forced Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to delay action on health care legislation.

McCain was the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2008. A Navy pilot, he was shot down over Vietnam and held as a prisoner for 5 ½ years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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