WASHINGTON (AP) – The junior senator from Arizona says Sen. John 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.”
Sen. Jeff 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.”
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.
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.
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