A cancerous brain tumor caused the seizure Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) suffered over the weekend, doctors said in a grim diagnosis for one of American politics most enduring figures.
Doctors for Kennedy, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, said that tests show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma. His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.
The 76-year-old senator has been hospitalized in Boston since Saturday, when he was airlifted from Cape Cod after a seizure at his home. He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital, according to a joint statement issued by Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Larry Ronan, Kennedys primary-care physician.
The doctors said Kennedy will remain in the hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol.
Kennedy is a co-sponsor of the Wired for Health Care Quality Act.
We, in New England especially, feel extraordinarily close to Sen. Kennedy, said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who recently worked on a compromise for the broad health IT bill with the Massachusetts senator. Weve all heard bad news on the Senate floor. This is the most difficult thing that I've heard in my 34 years in the Senate. -- by the Associated Press and staff reports