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Senator Ted Kennedy will undergo brain surgery this morning at Duke University Medical Center for the treatment of his recently diagnosed brain tumor.

Statement of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy

DURHAM, NC — U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy this morning released 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. Over the past several days, Vicki and I, 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.

This morning, I will be undergoing surgery with Dr. Allan Friedman at Duke University Medical Center and expect to remain there to recuperate for approximately one week. Shortly thereafter, I will start radiation treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital and begin chemotherapy. After completing treatment, I look forward to returning to the United States Senate and to doing everything I can to help elect Barack Obama as our next president."

Ted Kennedy, the 76-year-old Democratic Senator and lone surviving son of the famed political family was flown to Massachusetts General on Saturday May 14, 2008 after experiencing a seizure and being treated at the emergency room of Cape Cod Hospital.

On May 17, Sen. Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor . More specifically, it was a glioma in the left parietal lobe . Specialists had interpreted this as a terminal form of cancer. The nature and location of the Sen. Kennedy's diagnosis sent shock waves throughout America and indicated a poor prognosis.  

The surgery will take place this morning at the Durham, N.C., facility, according to a purported statement from the Kennedy family read over the air on Cable News Network.

He will reportedly go into surgery at 9 a.m. and will be in surgery for about six hours, according to the television network.

In October, Kennedy had surgery to remove a blockage in his left carotid artery - a main supplier of blood to the face and brain. This type of operation is performed on more than 180,000 people a year to prevent a stroke. The blockage was discovered during a routine exam.

The doctor who operated on Kennedy said at the time that surgery is reserved for those with more than 70 percent blockage, and Kennedy had "a very high-grade blockage." Article

UPDATE 1:

As noted previously, Senator Kennedy's surgery will be performed by Dr.  Allan H. Friedman. Dr. Friedman is Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Friedman has medico-administrative authority of the departments/divisions of Surgery/Neurosurgery and Medicine/Neurology.

He is the Co-Director of the DUMC Neuro-Oncology Program. His specialty is brain tumors, skull base tumors, peripheral nerve surgery, pituitary tumors, and cerebrovascular disease.

UPDATE 2:

To Send Best Wishes

Per readers' request: To send best wishes and words of encouragement to Senator Kennedy and his family please visit his  Website here

UPDATE 3

SURGERY SUCCESSFUL

Dr. Allan Friedman, Neurosurgeon at DUMC has just announced that the targeted brain surgery performed on Senator Ted Kennedy today has been successful and their goals have been met.

UPDATE 4

What Kind of Brain Tumor?

Several readers wanted to know what kind of brain cancer Sen. Kennedy has.
Sen. Kennedy was diagnosed with the most severe, aggressive form of malignant glioma (grade IV glioma or glioblastoma multiforme. The median survival rate for this kind of brain tumor is less than a year.

In Sen. Kennedy's case, the treatment plan includes the targeted surgical intervention he has undergone today. He will remain hospitalized for approximately one week. He will return home where he will subsequently begin a round of radiation and chemo therapies which will start together in about 3 or 4 weeks.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 06:37 AM PDT.

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