It’s not a tumor!

Or is it? Every time I see Republican Presidential candidate John McCain I can’t help but notice the growth on his left cheek – his parotid gland (a salivary gland) appears to be enlarged, and no one in the media seems to be discussing this. A lot of parotid gland tumors are benign, but given McCain’s previous health woes (melanoma back in 2000) there may be reason to wonder if it’s something more serious.

Now, I understand there are certain health privacy concerns, but it seems to me that if you are running for President of the United States the people voting should have some guarantee that the candidate is healthy enough to survive 4+ grueling years in the White House. Choosing a strong running mate may prove more important for McCain compared to other candidates, because voters will have to decide whether they envision that VP as fit to run the country should McCain’s health deteriorate. He’s already 71 years old – add to that the significant injuries he received as a prisoner of war, the multiple bouts of a very deadly type of skin cancer, and now this possible parotid gland problem – he’s not the healthiest guy. People will be hesitant to vote for someone they see as old and sick (Bob Dole anyone?), which may be part of the reason why McCain’s camp has failed to discuss this facial growth. Still, I think the people have a right to know whether it is a benign, or something more serious.

To see pictures highlighting the changes in McCain’s left cheek, check out the blog “This Man Runs” – he’s an ENT doc who gives his own “television diagnosis” of the situation.




  1. Doc26.2 said,

    February 18, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Thanks for the plug, Lily. I’m really not sure what that lump is. His incision is very weird for having had a parotidectomy before. One thing about medicine I’ve learned is to assume as little as possible. For all we know that lump is scar tissue, some misplaced fat pad (from surgery), maybe overgrown remaining normal parotid. Given his history of cancer and parotidectomy though it seems like it should be addressed. One day it will hit in the media and you can say you read it here first 🙂

  2. aaronhermenswr122 said,

    February 20, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    It seems like his health would be more a topic of concern. Afterall, if elected he would be the oldest president in history. I’m not saying he can’t do the job but I think we should be concerned about that particular point.

  3. Annie said,

    September 12, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Since the lump is on the jawline near the lymph nodes, it could be related to the lymph system. There are cancers and disorders of the lymph system that result in similar growths, like Hodgkins Lymphoma, but you may not have any symptoms right away. Also, it seems to have grown over the past years, if you look at older pictures.

  4. November 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

    […] It’s not a tumor! « Side Effects May VaryFeb 16, 2008 … Every time I see Republican Presidential candidate John McCain I can’t help but notice the growth on his left cheek – his parotid gland (a … […]

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