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article imageTed Kennedy To Undergo Risky Surgery

By Carolyn E. Price     Jun 2, 2008 in Health
This morning in Durham, North Carolina, Senator Edward Kennedy is scheduled to undergo what is being described as risky surgery on his malignant brain tumor.
It is being reported that Dr. Allan Friedman, one of the top neurosurgeons in the United States, will be performing the surgery at the Duke University Medical Center this morning beginning at 9 am, local time. The surgery is expected to last for approximately 6 hours.
Dr. Friedman will likely try to remove as much of the tumor as he possibly can all the while trying not to damage the brain tissue surrounding the tumor. The particular area of the Senator's brain that is being operated on controls his movements and his speech. Couldn't be in a worse place.
Dr. Mark Gilbert, a brain tumor expert at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, says that during an operation,
the surgeon usually does as much as possible within the bounds of safety. We do not want to do neurological damage in an effort to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
Kennedy issued the following statement:
I am deeply grateful to the people of Massachusetts and to my friends, colleagues and so many others across the country and around the world who have expressed their support and good wishes as I tackle this new and unexpected health challenge. I am humbled by the outpouring and am strengthened by your prayers and kindness.
He also said that for the past few days, he, his wife Vicky
along with my outstanding team of doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, have consulted with experts from around the country and have decided that the best course of action for my brain tumor is targeted surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation.
Senator Kennedy was diagnosed last month with a fatal form of brain cancer called malignant glioma. There is a brain tumor research center at the Duke University hospital and they are conducting several clinical trials in the area of malignant glioma's.
Although details about the specific kind of tumor that Senator Kennedy has have not been released, there are some cancer specialist who say it is more than likely a serious and tough-to remove type of tumor known as a glioblastoma multiforme. These particularly tumors are the kind that most commonly form in older people.
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