Ted Kennedy, 77, Dies 14 Months after Brain Tumor Diagnosis

Senator Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in the left parietal lobe of his brain after he suffered a seizure on May 17, 2008. He underwent surgery at Duke University on June 2, 2008 after which he received radiation therapy. His 14-month survival is, unfortunately, the average survival time for this type of tumor. Only 3-5% of patients survive for more than 3 years. Journalist Robert Novak also recently died from brain cancer 13 months after his diagnosis. Novak was operated on by the same Duke University surgeon who performed Sen. Kennedy’s brain surgery.

The U.S. Government spends about $200 million per year on brain cancer research. Currently there are more than 500 clinical research trials testing new treatments for the type of tumor Sen. Kennedy is thought to have had.

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The parietal lobe of the brain is associated with movement, orientation, recognition and perception of stimuli.

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Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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