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CNN Today

Democratic National Convention: McCain Undergoes Battery of Tests

Aired August 17, 2000 - 2:18 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We continue to follow the story of John McCain's malignant skin cancer, which was diagnosed recently and we're learning more about today.

Elizabeth Cohen is in Phoenix, Arizona, following the story and has some new information.

Elizabeth, what do you got?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Lou, just a little while ago, someone who was inside John McCain's house here in Arizona came out and handed this piece of paper to reporters. And I'll read it to you. What it says is: Today Senator John McCain had the following tests at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, blood work, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram, MRI, CT-scan, an echocardiogram. And then it says tomorrow that Senator and Mrs. McCain will meet with physicians at Mayo to discuss these test findings and possible courses of treatment.

Now we have been told by a dermatologist that these tests are used to see if a melanoma, that starts on the skin, has spread to inside the body. For example, a chest X-ray obviously looks at the chest, echocardiogram is used to look at the heart, CT-scan can be used to look at various parts of the body. Because the cure rate, or the prognosis for someone with melanoma, is dependent upon the stage of it. If it's on the surface of the skin, there's 95 percent cure rate. If it's spread into other parts of body, it's a 12 percent cure rate. So these tests are designed to look to see where it's spread or if it's spread -- Lou.

WATERS: By having this piece of paper, are you getting the sense that we are going to be, we, the media, are going to be apprised of John McCain's situation all along the way? or are they going to keep this close to the vest?

COHEN: Well, I'm actually surprised to see this piece of paper because they hadn't said very much up until now. He went to Mayo, he left his home. He came back. And nobody said anything. So this is actually more detailed than I would have expected. Now they were talking possibly about surgery as early as Saturday. And we still don't know if that's what he's going to do or not.

WATERS: All right, Elizabeth. We'll check back with you, Elizabeth Cohen, our medical correspondent in Phoenix today on the John McCain story.

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