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Sen. John McCain’s decision to return to Washington for Tuesday’s vote on health care legislation came less than two weeks after surgery to remove a blood clot in his head — and shortly after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

His quick return came as a surprise to much of Washington. When he received his diagnosis of glioblastoma on July 14, he announced that he would stay in Arizona for a week to recover. And in a speech after Tuesday’s vote, McCain announced that he’ll be returning to Arizona to continue treatment after a few days in D.C.


Dr. Fred Barker, a neurosurgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, said people who are diagnosed with glioblastoma and who go through an initial surgery generally take four to six weeks before returning to work. “Others go back part time part time for a week or two,” he said.

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