Admired figure in war and politics suffered from aggressive glioblastoma
Known for bravery and grit in war and in politics, Sen. John McCain lost his battle with brain cancer on Saturday, Aug. 25 at his home in Arizona. He was 81.
Who was Sen. John McCain?
Often described as a “maverick,” McCain was at different times both a unifying and polarizing force in the political world. However, he was widely respected for steadfast values, bipartisanship and service to our country.
The son and grandson of four-star Navy admirals, John McCain was catapulted onto the national stage when he was captured during the Vietnam War in 1967 and held as a prisoner by the North Vietnamese for five-and-a-half years.
He suffered excruciating torture, including daily beatings and two years of solitary confinement. The physical scars stayed with him for life; he was unable to lift his arms over his head or comb his own hair.
Offered early release because of his father’s position, he declined, refusing release before the men who had been captured before him. He instantly became a symbol of heroism and courage. This reputation propelled him into politics, first in the House of Representatives in 1982, where he served his home state for two terms, and later as a five-term senator.
Sen. John McCain – Political Career
Sen. John McCain unsuccessfully ran for president twice, in 2000 and 2008, but earned bipartisan respect for his work in the Senate. His best-known achievement was the landmark campaign finance reform legislation known as the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002.
John McCain’s Battle with Cancer
A survivor of the skin cancer melanoma, McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2017. He died a day after ending treatment.
This form of brain cancer also took the lives of Sen. Joe Biden’s son, Beau, and Sen. Edward Kennedy. It accounts for 17 percent of all brain tumors and is particularly resistant to treatment. It kills about 15,000 people in the U.S. each year.
The majority of people diagnosed with this disease live less than two years, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Although he faced down adversaries across battle lines and political aisles, this is one enemy that overtook him. Physician Partners of America is honored to treat patients suffering from cancer pain, and with admiration and respect, we salute the memory of Sen. John McCain.