Grand Rapids doctor relates to McCain cancer diagnosis

Posted at 10:18 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 22:29:16-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – It’s an announcement that’s still shocking many people across the country: Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer that can be difficult to treat.

And there’s one man in West Michigan who knows all too well what the senator is going through.  Dr. Craig Alguire, a cardiologist at Spectrum Health, was diagnosed with the same brain cancer in October 2015.

“Was initially diagnosed with it when I had a partial seizure while I was exercising at my house,” says Dr. Alguire. “I wasn’t able to talk. I was fully aware of what was going on but I wasn’t able to talk.”

Medical experts say the average survival rate for this cancer is about 14 months, but Dr. Alguire is now 20 months into his treatment.

“It’s different for every person depending on the location of the tumor,” says Alguire. “The biology of the tumor and how healthy the person is.”

In most cases, treatment begins with surgery and is followed by radiation and chemotherapy. A treatment the McCain family is just now trying to digest.

Dr. Alguire says based on his own experience, it’s important for the senator to stay positive and maintain a goal.

“I’m sure John McCain may want to get back to the Senate floor. I think that will be his goal,” said Alguire.

Sen. McCain is recovering at his home in Arizona. Dr. Alguire says he’s feeling well and his latest scans show no new growth in his cancer.

Dr. Alguire also blogs about his fight against cancer. Here is some additional information about  brain tumors.