Kennedy Undergoing Surgery for Brain Tumor

Chemo and radiation to follow surgery; Kennedy vows to return to Senate.

ByABC News
June 2, 2008, 7:33 AM

June 2, 2008— -- Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is out of surgery, and his doctor says a procedure to treat his cancerous brain tumor "was successful."

"I am pleased to report that Senator Kennedy's surgery was successful and accomplished our goals," said Dr. Allan Freidman in a statement released by Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

A Kennedy spokeswoman said the senator told his wife Vicki after the procedure, "I feel like a million bucks, I think I'll do that tomorrow."

"The surgery lasted roughly three-and-a-half hours and is just the first step in Senator Kennedy's treatment plan," Freidman said, adding he was awake during the procedure and, "should experience no permanent neurological effects from the surgery."

The 76-year-old senator now faces chemotherapy and radiation to treat his malignant glioma, a lethal type of brain tumor, Freidman said.

Kennedy released a statement earlier today announcing the decision to undergo the procedure.

"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," Kennedy said in the statement. "I am humbled by the outpouring and am strengthened by your prayers and kindness."

In the statement, the senator said he expected to remain at the hospital for about a week, after which he would begin radiation treatment and chemotherapy at Massachusetts General Hospital.

When his treatment ends, Kennedy said, "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."

Kennedy was hospitalized May 17 at Massachusetts General Hospital after experiencing a seizure at his home on Cape Cod.

According to the National Cancer Institute, malignant gliomas make up more than half of the 18,000 primary malignant brain tumors diagnosed in the United States each year.