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McCain hospitalized over cancer treatment side effects

U.S. Sen. John McCain is being treated at Walter Reed hospital for side effects of treatment for brain cancer, and "looks forward to returning to work as soon as possible," his office said.

McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in July, when he had a two-inch tumor removed.

The Arizona Republican is "currently receiving treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center for normal side effects of his ongoing cancer therapy," his office said Wednesday.

"As ever, he remains grateful to his physicians for their excellent care, and his friends and supporters for their encouragement and good wishes. Senator McCain looks forward to returning to work as soon as possible," a statement from McCain's office said.

Details about the side effects were not released. Walter Reed is a national military hospital near Washington, D.C. McCain has been treated with chemotherapy and radiation.

Also Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden consoled McCain's daughter, Meghan, during a taping of her TV program, The View.

Biden's son Beau died in 2015 from the same type of cancer that the senator was diagnosed with.

The senator later thanked Biden and "the entire Biden family for serving as an example & source of strength for my own family" via Twitter.

McCain was treated for a torn Achilles tendon in November. Doctors who have not examined McCain told TucsonSentinel.com that the ankle injury was likely not directly related to the senator's cancer or treatment side effects.

McCain was also treated then for what his office called "other normal and non-life-threatening side effects of cancer therapy."

The six-term senator has a form of cancer that is the most aggressive type that begins in the brain, with early symptoms that may include personality changes, headaches, and symptoms similar to those of a stroke.

Glioblastomas generally recur, despite surgery and cancer treatments, and most patients live 12-15 months after diagnosis. Less than 3-5 percent live longer than five years, with those patients who are not treated dying within three months.

Glioblastoma is the same variety of cancer that killed Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., in 2009. Kennedy was diagnosed in 2008 after a seizure.

McCain has had less-aggressive cancers before. McCain had surgery to remove Stage IIa melanoma in 2000, including removing the lymph nodes on the left side of his neck. He has had four operations to remove skin cancers since 1993, and at least one non-cancerous mole removed as a precaution, in 2008.

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Cassondra Strande/Cronkite News

McCain in 2012.

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