Sen. Edward Kennedy undergoes 'successful' brain surgery

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DURHAM, N.C. " Sen. Edward M. Kennedy underwent what his doctors called successful surgery Monday to treat his cancerous brain tumor, and told his wife shortly after that he "felt like a million bucks," a family spokeswoman said.

The surgery at Duke University Medical Center took about 3 1/2 hours. He is expected to undergo chemotherapy and radiation in coming weeks. He is expected to remain at the North Carolina hospital for about a week.

The 76-year-old Massachusetts Democrat was diagnosed last month with a malignant glioma, a lethal type of brain tumor. Experts had said Dr. Allan Friedman " the top neurosurgeon at Duke and an internationally known tumor and vascular surgeon " was likely try to remove as much of the tumor as possible while balancing the risk of harming healthy brain tissue that affects movement and speech.

Friedman said the surgery "was successful and accomplished our goals." Kennedy was awake during the procedure, and should not experience any permanent neurological effects, he said.

"After a brief recuperation, he will begin targeted radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital and chemotherapy treatment," Friedman said. "I hope that everyone will join us in praying for Senator Kennedy to have an uneventful and robust recovery."

Family spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said Kennedy spoke to his wife, Vicki, and told her: "I feel like a million bucks. I think I'll do that again tomorrow."

Kennedy was hospitalized May 17 at Massachusetts General Hospital after undergoing a seizure at his home on Cape Cod. Doctors later announced that he had a malignant glioma in his left parietal lobe, a brain region that governs sensation but also plays some role in movement and language. A malignant glioma is one of the worst kinds of brain cancer, and malignant gliomas are diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year.

Kennedy said in a statement released by his office earlier in the day that he and his wife "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."


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