INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The former first lady of Indiana, Susan Bayh, underwent brain surgery to remove a malignant glioblastoma tumor.
IU Health Hematology & Oncology service line chief, Dr. Sara Jo Grethlein says this is one of one of the most aggressive forms of cancer.
"What's hard about glioblastoma is because it affects the brain it can hurt peoples quality of life significantly. Sometimes it can cause confusion or difficulty expressing your thoughts or seizures or symptoms sort of like a stroke," Dr. Grethlein said.
Despite that she says there are reasons to be hopeful because of the treatment advancements that have been made.
"I think it's very important that we are always honest with patients but honest doesn't mean that we don't have hope and so what's changing in this disease is new treatments that for the first time are advancing our 5 year survival as far as 13%," Dr. Grethlein said.
Mrs. Bayh's family says the cancer is the same kind that Joe Biden's son had, and the same cancer Senator John McCain currently has. She was the first lady of Indiana while her husband Evan Bayh served as governor from 1989 to 1997.
Her family says she will begin chemotherapy and radiation once she recovers from her surgery.
Mrs. Bayh also had a brain tumor removed in July 2015, but that tumor was benign.