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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Republican senator John McCain has brain cancer

The former presidential candidate who represents Arizona is seeking treatment after tumour was discovered during eye surgery

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met with John McCain at Al Shati Palace in February.
Rashed Al Mansoori / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met with John McCain at Al Shati Palace in February. Rashed Al Mansoori / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi

John McCain, the Republican senator for Arizona who was the party’s candidate for the presidency in 2008, has been diagnosed with brain cancer. The 80-year-old had been treated over the last weeks for a blood clot on his left eye, but it was revealed on Wednesday that his condition had worsened.

The Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said tests had revealed “a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma” associated with the clot that was removed last week.

“The senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team,” said the hospital in a statement. “Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.”

The hospital said that “McCain’s doctors say he is recovering from his surgery ‘amazingly well’ and his underlying health is excellent.”

Figures from across the political spectrum rushed to offer their support.

Barack Obama, who defeated McCain in 2008 said: “John is an American hero and one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.”

The Republicans’ leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said: “John McCain is a hero to our Conference and a hero to our country. He has never shied from a fight and I know that he will face this challenge with the same extraordinary courage that has characterized his life. The entire senate family’s prayers are with John, Cindy and his family, his staff, and the people of Arizona he represents so well.

“We all look forward to seeing this American hero again soon.”

McCain comes from a military family, boasting two four-star admirals of the US Navy i his father and grandfather, and he served during the Vietnam war as a fighter pilot.

He was shot down during a bombing raid on the North Vietnamese capital Hanoi in October 1967 and spent the next six years in a prisoner of war camp, where he underwent horrific torture at the hands of his captors.

Following his release, he became a member of the House of Representatives for two terms from 1982, before being first elected senator for Arizona in 1986, winning re-election five times.

He was easily beaten by Obama in 2008, and heavily criticised Donald Trump during last year’s campaign. For this, he has become a hate-figure as potent as any for many on the insurgent wing of the Republican party - especially after his medical emergency looked set to deprive the GOP of a vote in its attempts to repeal Obamacare in the Senate this week.

Diana Orrock, a member of the Republican National Committee from Nevada, retweeted an article about McCain on Monday titled “Please Just F****** Die Already” and replied to its author with the commentary: “Amen @caitoz”.

If McCain was forced to vacate his seat, he could add further to Republicans’ woes. They currently hold a narrow majority of 52-48 in the Senate, and at the last election for McCain’s seat, the veteran squeezed home with 54% of the vote over all other parties.