US senator John McCain discontinuing medical treatment for cancer

The family of the Republican, who has had brain cancer since 2017, has gathered in Arizona

 Senator John McCain will no longer receive treatment for his brain cancer. File photograph:  Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senator John McCain will no longer receive treatment for his brain cancer. File photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

 

Senator John McCain of Arizona, who has been battling brain cancer for more than a year, will no longer be treated for his condition, his family announced Friday, a sign that the Republican war hero is most likely entering his final days.

“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. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict,” the family said in a statement.

“With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”

Mr McCain had been undergoing treatment since July 2017, and has been absent from Washington since December.

Mr McCain’s family has gathered in Arizona, and people close to him say his death is imminent.

Mr McCain’s wife Cindy tweeted: “I love my husband with all of my heart. God bless everyone who has cared for my husband along this journey.”

From his ranch in Arizona, Mr McCain had managed to maintain a voice in key foreign policy and military policy debates, sharply criticising US president Donald Trump after his summit with president Vladimir Putin of Russia, an old adversary of Mr McCain.

At home, he has welcomed close friends to renew ties. But after decades as a fixture in Washington and a larger-than-life character, he had largely retreated from the public eye.

The son and grandson of four-star Navy admirals who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Mr McCain rose to become one of the towering figures in US politics, twice seeking the presidency and winning the 2008 Republican nomination for president.

In the Senate, he has been both revered as an iconoclast and criticised by many, including Mr Trump, for his willingness to buck his party on issues like campaign finance reform and, last summer, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.–NYT