Cancer Bites

As we all heard yesterday, Sen John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Glioblastoma is a devastating diagnosis. At his age he only has a 4% chance of survival for 5 yrs. It is the most common kind of brain cancer. Glioblastoma is the kind of brain cancer that Ted Kennedy had.

It needs more research to find a treatment and a cure. I have known several friends who have been touched by this disease in their own family so it is more prevalent than you might think.

John McCain started having double vision during the Senate hearings of former FBI director Comey. His line of questions were confusing and not easily followed. This week they discovered a blood clot above his left eye. When they removed it they discovered the brain tumor. It does seem to be superficial and because of placement it may have a better prognosis in spite of this cancer being very aggressive.

We all want to wish him strength, and comfort and pray for his healing. He is a fighter and has never given in or surrendered in his entire life. I will say I haven’t always agreed with his policies but I have never doubted that he loved this country and wanted the best for us. He really is a hero.

But to my patients please pay attention to the signs here. He started seeing double. When you have any changes in your vision it could be something simple but it could also be something far more serious. Don’t put off having it checked out. Time is our friend rather than our enemy. The sooner something is diagnosed the better chances you will have of a positive outcome.

The eye doctor picks up so many diseases during the course of an eye examination. This is why it is so important to have a thorough examination every year. We need to do a very careful history with you the patient. Testing of your visual fields, coordination of eye movements, headaches, and of course visually inspecting the health of the eye externally and internally. With the Optomap we can see 220* of the inside of the eye as opposed to the customary 45*. This gives us a chance to find suspicious lesions when otherwise we would not be able to see them.

I hope that Sen John McCain can beat this cancer. I know he will have the best of care and the latest of treatment options. But I especially hope you keep up on your examinations so we find things early if they should occur.

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