Breaking - Sad but very relavent news on McCain's health.

Over the past day Colin Powell and many newspaper editorial boards have cited Sarah Palin's complete unreadiness to be president as a key factor in deciding to endorse Obama.  News out today from the New York Times makes me worry about the prospect of her actually becoming the most powerful person on the planet.   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/us/pol itics/20health.html?pagewanted=1&_r= 1&hp,

Here, quoted from the above Times article, is the most important news of the campaign since McCain named Palin as his VP pick:

However, the reporters' summary cited a report dated Aug. 9, 2000, from two pathologists at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington who examined a biopsy of the melanoma taken from Mr. McCain's left temple a few days earlier.

The Armed Forces pathologists suggested that the left-temple melanoma had spread from another melanoma, known as a metastasis or satellite lesion. "The vertical orientation of this lesion," the report said, "with only focal epidermal involvement above it is highly suggestive of a metastasis of malignant melanoma and may represent a satellite metastasis of S00-9572-A," which is the "skin, left temple, lateral" biopsy.

I am a physician, and metastatic melanoma is one of the worst diagnoses in medicine.  It has a five year survival rate of 7% to 19% and the cancer can recur at any time after years of remission.  On a human level this is sad news.  We on the left tend not to rejoice in the suffering of those on the other side of the political spectrum or play politics with such issues.  But the specter of Sarah Palin waiting in the wings makes this an unavoidable and hugely important issue.  

Tags: Health, mccain, melanoma, Palin (all tags)

Comments

38 Comments

Um...

Could this be a plausible reason for someone like McCain to suddenly not have the energy to campaign weekends and be unable to head back to the Senate to vote?

by vcalzone 2008-10-19 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Um...

Or it could be because he's old as hell.

by the mystical vortexes of sedona 2008-10-20 12:07AM | 0 recs
Errr....

Last time I checked, Obama had missed a much greater percentage of Senate votes than McCain had.

by SuperCameron 2008-10-20 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Errr....

Was 2004 the last time you checked?

by Jess81 2008-10-20 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Errr....

Earlier this year.  And I read it somewhere.  McCain has of course been at a much higher percentage of his Senate votes because he has spent a much smaller percentage of his time in the Senate on a Presidential run.

by SuperCameron 2008-10-20 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Errr....

What's at issue is his health NOW, not what it was in 1982.

by Jess81 2008-10-20 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Errr....

The issue was missed Senate votes.  Is it okay to miss them if you just have other things you feel more like doing?

by SuperCameron 2008-10-20 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Errr....

What's the title of the diary?

by Jess81 2008-10-20 12:10PM | 0 recs
Delete this diary

And let it go.  We can beat McCain on the issues.  There is no need to resort to fears of his health.  We all know his age, and his bouts with skin cancer.

by shalca 2008-10-19 11:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Delete this diary

I don't agree.  With Palin as VP, McCain's health is paramount.  He has not been transparent about this.  The story deserves some traction beyond the NYT.

by Bob H 2008-10-20 03:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Delete this diary

"We" do, meaning the people who visit this and other political websites, but I don't think that people outside of that bubble are fully aware of his health risks.  I agree that at this point this type of story is unnecessary, because Obama is very likely to win, but it is still an important issue.

by rfahey22 2008-10-20 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Delete this diary

It's not an issue that will gain traction unless people ignore the fact that Biden has yet to release his medical records and he's only 4 years younger than McCain.

Unless McCain has terminal cancer, or some mentally disabling disorder (e.g. alzheimers) I really don't think it matters.  I also think, that if he did, we'd already know about it.

by shalca 2008-10-20 05:42AM | 0 recs
you've the evidence in front of your eyes

did you see that second debate?

something neurological about those tongue juts...

by RisingTide 2008-10-20 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Delete this diary
I think the point is that McCain may actually have terminal cancer, whether it currently is detectable or not. My fiance is a doctor and she also thinks that his long-term prognosis is poor.
by rfahey22 2008-10-20 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Delete this diary

Many of us would not like to see McCain lose the election because of medical fears, but on the issues. That would seem to be enough. However, with

Palin in the wings, we have reason to fear, well beyond McCain's melanoma.

McCain made a serious blunder by selecting Palin and it was not a particularly wise decision considering its possible effect on the country. We do not need another careerist in the White House, this one much, much less capable than the Clintons.

by MainStreet 2008-10-20 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Delete this diary

Actually, Biden is six years younger than McCain (1942 vs. 1936) and, to the best of my knowledge, he's not a cancer survivor.  He certainly looks vigorous enough on the campaign trail.

by KTinOhio 2008-10-20 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Delete this diary

We should all know by now that you can't judge someone's health by how they look.  At least that's what I learned in sex ed class.

by shalca 2008-10-20 12:54PM | 0 recs
mental health providers

are ethically prohibited from speculating on individual's mental health conditions w/o consent of the party diagnosed.

However, this does not hold true of oncology.

While there's a gray area of bad taste, McCain is 72 y/o, someone who has had cancer, and this release of medical records suggests he's hiding something. Oh, and Sarah Palin would be his VP.

On the balance, I would prefer physicians didn't have to write this kind of diary, but McCain is the one who has put all concerned in an awkward situation.

Remember Paul Tsongas. He would not have completed his first term in good health.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-10-20 10:10AM | 0 recs
MH providers ethically prohibited from speculating

Really? From speculating? As opposed to, say, rendering a professional opinion?

by kydoc2 2008-10-20 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: MH providers ethically prohibited from spec

That's correct. I interviewed a professional psychologist who educated me on the point when a mental health professional wrote a book on Bush.

If you want to speculate, don't go into mental health.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-10-20 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: MH providers ethically prohibited from spec

Alas, it's a bit late for that. I just passed the state and national licensing exams and am now a licensed Psychologist. There are ethical and legal prohibitions on rendering a professional opinion without professional contact. If there is any prohibition about speculation, it didn't come up in grad school, or studying for licensure, or on the licensing exam.

by kydoc2 2008-10-23 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: MH providers ethically prohibited from spec

What's the clear and bright line between a professional opinion and speculation?

I suppose if you make your statement online in a way that's not connected with your professional status you're safe. If you connect the speculation to your professional license, I think there's a block of professionals who would say this violates the rule.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-10-23 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: MH providers ethically prohibited from spec

That sounds about right to me.

by kydoc2 2008-10-23 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: mental health providers

It's common knowledge that McCain is a cancer survivor.  It's common knowledge that McCain is 72.  His pick of Palin would have been irresponsible if he was 20 years younger and is substantially more so at his current age.  No one needs to know more than that to be honest.  That's where it should end.

by shalca 2008-10-20 12:57PM | 0 recs
Still is relevant

I'm working on freeing up McCain's schedule for the next 4 years so he can concentrate on getting well and possibly being a national spokesman for the eradication of skin cancer.

Let's all help him get a couple of thousand personal days off.

by mydailydrunk 2008-10-20 02:53AM | 0 recs
The GOP could have

chosen Romney or Huckabee or even Ron Paul;

mystifyingly, they chose McCain who compounded the mystery by choosing Palin.

They put America in a very compromising position.

by Paul Goodman 2008-10-20 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: The GOP could have

LoL.  And the Democrats could have chosen, Clinton, Biden, Vilsack, or Edwards.  Instead they chose Obama.

They put America in a very compromising position.

by SuperCameron 2008-10-20 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The GOP could have

I know, we're certainly kicking ourselves now.  We could be on our way to President Vilsack.

Doofus.

by Jess81 2008-10-20 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: The GOP could have

You completely missed the point.  No help for you, champ.

by SuperCameron 2008-10-20 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The GOP could have

Shame we didn't nominate Edwards.

by Jess81 2008-10-20 10:45AM | 0 recs
The point was not worth getting.

I doubt it was missed so much as it was ignored.

by teknofyl 2008-10-20 11:53AM | 0 recs
Sad indeed.

This is extraordinarily unhappy news. I hope he's lucky enough to recover and live a long, cancer-free life.

by Spiffarino 2008-10-20 10:05AM | 0 recs
No disrespect intended.

But our standard-bearer has taken a big, fat shit on all things progressive, and I don't give a mad fuck who wins this Presidential election.  Either way, my paycheck will get fatter, my insurance will get cheaper, the troop presence in Iraq will be reduced, and the poor will get what Congress gives them--a pittance.

McCain's health is a non-issue.  In fact, all the important issues have been made into non-issues.  It's 100% personality and identity politics now.

by SuperCameron 2008-10-20 10:16AM | 0 recs
The cart cannot precede the horse

the grass roots spread of a Progressive vision of the future has not taken place and cannot take place until the quality of the people themselves is improved.

That is the only way to real change.

by Paul Goodman 2008-10-20 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: The cart cannot precede the horse

I do not dismiss your point.  But I also don't believe the quality of people can be improved.  They can be convinced, if they are shown the arguments.  We have none of that this election.

by SuperCameron 2008-10-20 10:40AM | 0 recs
This is a very relevant issue

the health status of McCain must be known. Even before the primary we knew he has a recurrence of melanoma, which in itself raises the suspicion of metastasis. Now we need to know what is full prognosis. It is very relevant to the US especially he can well become the president.

by tarheel74 2008-10-20 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Breaking - Sad but very relavent

it's not breaking news, it's what a lot of us have been warning. I've had that cancer, do you recall a study from a few years back?  Someone who had been cancer free twenty years died, and his organs were donated, and each recipient died from his melanoma?  

It's worth linking if you have the link.  

by anna shane 2008-10-20 10:55AM | 0 recs
a local satellite lesion does not

spell death, that's why McCain had that disfiguring procedure done... not good, but it is not the same as a metastasis from a remote region of the body. This is not an issue at this point. McCain has had the appropriate treatment to date. At least that's what the press says.

by FLS 2008-10-20 02:26PM | 0 recs

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