Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), the liberal icon who has spent more than four decades at the forefront of social-change efforts in Congress, has a cancerous brain tumor, physicians at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital said yesterday.
A biopsy of a portion of Kennedy's brain identified a malignant glioma as the cause of the seizure that hospitalized him Saturday, according to a statement by Lee H. Schwamm, the hospital's vice chairman of neurology, and Larry Ronan, the 76-year-old senator's primary-care physician. A glioma is the most common type of brain tumor, accounting for more than half of the 20,000 or so diagnosed in the United States each year. The prognosis for patients is poor, according to the National Institutes of Health.