As most people reading this probably already know Edward Kennedy has been diagnosed with a brain tumor identified as a glioma. For those of us who do not know brain anatomy and brain tumors particularly well this article from the New York Times should be helpful

By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN and ANAHAD O’CONNOR Published: May 21, 2008

Mr. Kennedy’s glioma is in the parietal area in the upper part of the left side of his brain, above the ear. This area of the brain involves motor control and ability to understand language, among other functions.

Malignant brain tumors rarely spread elsewhere in the body. But like the root of a plant, cancerous brain tumors can invade nearby areas in the brain. Gliomas are categorized by subtypes and by a numerical gradation based on how aggressive they appear. But the doctors did not provide these details or the tumor’s size, saying only that the diagnosis was made by removing a small piece of the cancer in a biopsy, which followed a series of other tests that began after Mr. Kennedy suffered a seizure on Saturday morning.

The cancer was responsible for that seizure, said Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, vice chairman of the hospital’s department of neurology, and Dr. Larry Ronan, a primary care physician, in their statement. Mr. Kennedy has experienced no further seizures, the doctors said.

By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN and ANAHAD O’CONNOR Published: May 21, 2008 Janet Elder contributed reporting.

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