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John McCain is discontinuing medical treatment

The Republican war hero and onetime candidate for president has been battling brain cancer.

Sen. John McCain, Republican of Arizona, is discontinuing treatment of an aggressive form of brain cancer, his family said in a statement on Friday.

“Last summer, Senator John McCain shared with Americans the news our family already knew: He had been diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma, and the prognosis was serious. In the year since, John has surpassed expectations for his survival,” the McCain family said in a statement. “But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict. With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”


McCain, 81, moved back to Arizona to undergo treatment in December, after originally announcing his diagnosis in July. His decision to discontinue treatment indicates that McCain may not be able to fight much longer against the disease.

McCain spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War, and once refused to be let go because his comrades remained imprisoned. He was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. He has served in the Senate since 1986, and was the Republican nominee for president in 2008.

In recent years, McCain has emerged as one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal Republican critics. Perhaps most memorably, McCain headed back to Washington, D.C. after his brain cancer diagnosis in order to vote against Trump’s push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, derailing the effort with an iconic “thumbs-down” gesture.

Trump, on the other hand, once said of the war hero, “I don’t like people who are captured.” McCain has reportedly told friends and family that he does not want Trump at his funeral.

Cover: Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, listens during a hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)