John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Arizona Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer, according to a statement his office put out Wednesday evening.

McCain, a Republican senator serving his sixth term, underwent surgery last Friday to remove a large blood clot above his eye. Further examination led doctors to conclude that McCain had a brain tumor known as a glioblastoma.


According to his office, treatment options “may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.”

McCain “is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona,” the statement said. “Further consultations with Senator McCain’s Mayo Clinic care team will indicate when he will return to the United States Senate.”


McCain’s diagnosis comes at a critical time for the narrow Republican majority in the Senate. The party controls 52 seats, but GOP leaders have already faced major struggles to corral Tea Party members and party moderates on a host of issues—most notably healthcare.

Just this week, a major Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare appeared to fail by a margin of just two votes, when Senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran announced in a joint statement that they would not support the Republicans’ healthcare bill. By making their statement at the same time, the senators each avoided being labeled as the lone Republican standing in the way of an Obamacare repeal.

McCain did not say whether he has decided to stay in office, and his statement did not mention the possibility of resignation.

Meghan McCain, one of the senator’s seven children, also issued a statement, calling her father “the toughest person I know.”


Cancer, she noted, “is familiar to the countless American families whose loved ones are also stricken with the tragedy of disease and the inevitability of age.”

The senator, who famously survived through torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, has previous experiences with cancer. He was diagnosed with melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer, in 1993, 2000, and 2002.


When he ran for president in 2008, his doctor said he was in generally good health.