Senator John McCain

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All of us at Patient Power join together to express our dismay at learning of John McCain’s cancer diagnosis, and we wish him and his family well.

If there is anything positive to come out of this, it’s that the diagnosis has the potential to raise awareness of the opportunities and obstacles faced by all of us with cancer! We hope it will point out the need for research into this deadly cancer, development of new treatments, and healthcare plans that give us all access to these treatments as they become available.

Sen. McCain’s cancer called glioblastoma cannot be cured and always recurs after treatment. However, progress is being made, According to the New York Times, quoting Dr. Mitchell Berger at the University of California, San Francisco,  “Thirty years ago, no more than 1 or 2 percent of patients survived more than two or three years. Now at least 25 percent survive three to five years and beyond.”

That’s the kind of progress we at Patient Power fight for. This is what modern medicine is supposed to do. It also highlights the need for precision medicine that we fight for. The Times goes on to say, “the tumor should be genetically sequenced to look for mutations indicating that the cancer might be especially sensitive to a certain drug, possibly an experimental one.” We should all have access to genetic testing when we have cancer.

And that raises the issue of clinical trials. “If the senator matches the criteria for a particular study, he could enroll in a clinical trial.”
The prognosis is dire, but not without possibilities thanks to research and the development and testing of new treatments, often by private industry.

We hope the Senator’s personal story quiets those individuals and organizations harping only about price instead of progress. We saw what new treatments did for President Jimmy Carter in his 90s with a different form of brain cancer. We believe all of us deserve nothing less.

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Page last updated on July 20, 2017