Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's seizure this weekend was caused by a brain tumor, his doctor said this afternoon, but it's not yet clear if he will undergo radiation treatment and chemotherapy to treat the tumor.

The tumor, on Kennedy's left parietal lobe, is known as a "malignant glioma," according to his doctors, who did not give a long-term prognosis on Kennedy's health and did not give details about the size or severity of this tumor. This type of tumor is the most common among adults, and the survival rates range from one to five years, depending on the severity of the tumor.

Kennedy, 76, was airlifted to Boston from the family compound in Cape Cod on Saturday morning after suffering a seizure, and remained at Massachusetts General Hospital all weekend. He was reportedly in good spirits and watching baseball and basketball games this weekend, which led to an optimistic outlook from his Senate office.

This announcement obviously changes the outlook on Kennedy's health, but his Senate office is providing few details beyond the brain tumor diagnosis.

Here's the full statement from Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy's primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital:

"Over the course of the last several days, we've done a series of tests on Sen. Kennedy to determine the cause of his seizure. He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital. Some of the tests we had performed were inconclusive, particularly in light of the fact that the senator had severe narrowing of the left carotid artery and underwent surgery just 6 months ago. However, preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe. The usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy. Decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Sen. Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis. Sen. Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy."

Fellow senators on Tuesday continued to provide an optimistic outlook for a senator many revere as a legend of Democratic politics and a skilled legislator.

"Ted Kennedy is a lion," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). "If anybody can make it through this, it is him."

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) added: "We are concerned. We are praying for his well being. ... Ted Kennedy makes the Senate the place that it is and has been for many years."