Kennedy Recovering from Brain Surgery

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Sen.Ted Kennedy is recovering following brain surgery Monday.

Doctors at Duke University Medical center say Kennedy should suffer no permanent neurological effects from the six-hour surgery to remove a brain tumor.

The 76-year-old Massachusetts Democrat will start chemotherapy and radiation treatment in the coming weeks.

Kennedy expects to remain at the North Carolina facility for one week to recuperate and then will begin further treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital and start chemotherapy.

The senior senator from Massachusetts was diagnosed in May with a malignant glioma, an especially lethal type of brain tumor.

A statement released by the Massachusetts Democrat's office said the surgery would take place in Durham, N.C., and would be performed by one of the nation's top neurosurgeons, Dr. Allan Friedman.

"Malignant brain tumors have ruined the lives of many healthy, vibrant members of our society. We are translating research into successful new treatments - the odds are in our favor for major achievement and long-term answers," Friedman said in a statement posted under his leadership profile.

Friedman is chief of the division of neurosurgery in the surgical department at Duke. He is also co-director of the neuro-oncology department.

Brain surgery was not mentioned when Kennedy was diagnosed with the cancer two weeks ago. It is considered by health professionals as the most aggressive approach he could take against his brain cancer.

"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 released Monday. "I am humbled by the outpouring and am strengthened by your prayers and kindness."

Kennedy said that over the past few days he and his wife, Vicki, "along with my outstanding team of doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, have consulted with experts from around the country and have decided that the best course of action for my brain tumor is targeted surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation."

After his treatment, 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 has served in the Senate since 1962, when he was elected to fill the seat vacated by his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

Source: The Associated Press, The Boston Globe

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