John McCain Cause of Death: How Did Senator Die?

John McCain health update

Getty John McCain

Arizona Senator John McCain, the war hero who was a prisoner of war, has died at the age of 81. McCain’s office confirmed his death in a statement that said the senator was surrounded by family as he passed away.

How did McCain die? Although the statement did not specify an official cause of death, it was clear from his previous public statements that McCain’s death ultimately came from a brain tumor. Specifically, McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, which is a particularly aggressive form of the cancer. McCain, who was diagnosed with the tumor in July 2017, died from the ailment on August 25, 2018 at his home in Arizona, surrounded by his wife, Cindy, and his family.

John McCain revealed that he had brain cancer in July 2017. McCain released a statement to the news media at that time that said in part, “On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot. Scanning done since the procedure (a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision) shows that the tissue of concern was completely resected by imaging criteria.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Ted Kennedy Died From the Same Brain Tumor & There Isn’t a Good Treatment for It


“This is the same type of cancer that Edward (Ted) Kennedy died of and it’s not a cancer that we really have good treatment for,” Phoenix Dr. Terry Simpson said to KTAR-TV of the McCain diagnosis.

Simpson told KTAR-TV, “We have some radiation and chemotherapy that can slow a tumor that can’t be removed with surgery, but that’s not a very good prognosis, I’m afraid.”

ted kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) talks with the news media after walking off the floor of the US Senate after a roll call vote to achieve cloture on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court passed 72 to 25 January 30, 2006 in Washington, DC.

The Washington Post noted that Beau Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, also died of the same type of tumor. The Post reported that the tumor is called a Glioblastoma and “is an aggressive cancer that is the most common of all malignant brain tumors. About 12,400 new cases are expected in 2017.”

McCain spoke highly of Kennedy’s response to his diagnosis.

The Boston Globe also noted, “The tumor discovered in McCain’s brain is the same type that was also found in Ted Kennedy, the late US senator of Massachusetts.” Kennedy died at age 77 in 2009 “after battling a brain tumor. He was diagnosed with a malignant glioma after suffering a seizure” that May, reported NBC News. Kennedy survived 15 months after his diagnosis, which is about the median survival rate for that kind of tumor.

“A glioblastoma is the most common brain tumor that affects adults. It is also the most rapidly growing malignant tumor of the brain, with the shortest survival rate,” NBC reported. “Death may occur within months.”

When he announced he had the brain tumor, McCain’s statement added, “The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.”

McCain’s wife, Cindy, thanked people for their prayers and called McCain her hero in an Instagram post accompanied by a wedding photo of the couple.

You can read more about McCain’s life and death here: