Saturday, May 24, 2008

Newsweek Edits Out McCain's Most Recent Cancer Surgery

Yesterday, John McCain allowed a few reporters to view his medical records for a few hours. The AP report which emerged from that session reported that McCain had had an undisclosed surgery in February of this year--while he still had at least one rival in the GOP nominating contest:

McCain's most recent exams show a range of health issues common in aging: He frequently has precancerous skin lesions removed, and in February had an early stage squamous cell carcinoma, an easily cured skin cancer, removed. He had benign colon growths called polyps taken out during a routine colonoscopy in March.

In Newsweek magazine's version of the story, which is credited to the AP, this fact does not appear:

McCain's most recent exams show a range of health issues common in aging: He had benign colon polyps removed during a routine colonoscopy in March, growths that are common with age and that sometimes turn cancerous unless taken out.

He takes medication to keep his cholesterol in check and just switched from the controversial Vytorin that made headlines this winter to a proven standby, simvastatin.

The Vietnam veteran has degenerative arthritis from war injuries that might mean a future joint replacement.

[. . .]

The documents include mundane personal details, such as the fact that he had earwax removed earlier this year and the dermatologist showed his wife, Cindy, how to monitor possibly suspicious skin spots hidden by his waistband. Though he's known as temperamental, the doctors made a point of repeatedly writing in the documents that he was "pleasant."

Also revealed: He has occasional momentary episodes of dizziness, when he gets up suddenly. McCain first told a doctor about them in 2000 — the visit that also uncovered the melanoma — and intense testing concluded they were harmless vertigo. He didn't report any episodes at his most recent exam."

Despite recounting McCain's earwax treatment this year, Newsweek omitted any mention of the February surgery to remove a squamous cell carcinoma. Neither the AP report nor Newsweek's account has been corrected since first published.

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