Kennedy at Duke for surgery on brain tumor
By MIKE BAKER, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 26 minutes ago
DURHAM, N.C. - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was at Duke University Medical Center on Monday for a risky six-hour surgery for his cancerous brain tumor, and faces chemotherapy and radiation treatment following the procedure.
The 76-year-old senator was diagnosed last month with a malignant glioma, a lethal type of brain tumor. A statement from the Massachusetts Democrat's office said the surgery would be performed by one of the nation's top neurosurgeons, Dr. Allan Friedman.
Experts said surgeons will likely try to remove as much of the tumor as possible while balancing the risk of harming healthy brain tissue that affects movement and speech.
"Almost no malignant gliomas are cured by surgery, but many of us believe that the more you get out, the next treatments, whether they be radiation or chemotherapy, have a better chance of working because there's less tumor there to fight," said Dr. Matthew Ewend, neurosurgery chief at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The surgery was scheduled to begin around 9 a.m., said Anthony Coley, a Kennedy spokesman. The hospital had given no updates by late morning. The senator was expected to remain at the North Carolina facility for one week to recuperate and then will begin further treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital and start chemotherapy.