WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John McCain said Sunday his health prognosis was “very good” as he undergoes treatment for cancer, insisting he is strong enough to preside over defense legislation debate this week.
“I’m fine. The prognosis is very good,” McCain told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The 80-year-old was diagnosed with brain cancer in July after doctors discovered a brain tumor when the lawmaker underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.
He underwent treatment including radiation therapy while home in Arizona during the summer break.
Despite the aggressive cancer, the Republican 2008 presidential nominee said “all the results so far are excellent” and he has “more energy than ever.”
McCain is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he aims to spend the coming week shepherding the all-important defense spending bill through the chamber.
Ever the maverick, McCain ruffled feathers within his party recently by casting one of the deciding Republican votes against repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the landmark 2010 health care law known as Obamacare.
He was 1 of 17 Republicans who voted against a package of hurricane relief aid last week, because it was controversially attached to financial legislation that lifts the debt ceiling and funds government.
And he has come out against President Donald Trump’s decision to end protections for so-called Dreamer immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.
But with cancer, the feisty legislator in the twilight of his career acknowledged he was in one of the fights of his life.
“The fact is, you know, I’m facing a challenge,” he said. “I’ve faced other challenges. And I’m very confident about getting through this one as well.”
McCain, a former U.S. Navy pilot, was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war.
The lawmaker said he was feeling “no side effects” from his cancer treatment other than increased energy levels.
He said he expects to have an MRI scan taken on Monday.
“So far, all indications are very good.”
The tumor, known as glioblastoma, is a particularly aggressive brain tumor affecting adults. It is of the same category of cancer that led to the death of another Senate icon, Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009 at age 77.