Three-time melanoma survivor John McCain appears cancer-free, has a strong heart and is in otherwise general good health, according to eight years of medical records reviewed by The Associated Press.
The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting remains at risk for developing new skin cancers, and gets a thorough check by a Mayo Clinic dermatologist every few months.
"I do not see any worrisome lesions," Dr. Suzanne Connolly concluded after McCain's most recent exam, on May 12 . . .
Like many aging Americans, McCain takes medicine to keep his cholesterol in check.
But Mayo internist Dr. John Eckstein, his longtime personal physician, lauded McCain's performance on a heart stress test - sweating it out for 10 minutes when Eckstein routinely sees patients decades younger quit at five or seven minutes.
"I think physiologically he is considerably younger than his chronologic age based on his cardiovascular fitness," Eckstein said in an interview Thursday. "I got a call from the cardiologist who said that he had not seen anyone that age exercise for that long in a long time."
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.
The Vietnam veteran has degenerative arthritis from war injuries that might mean a future joint replacement. His blood pressure and weight were healthy, and his cholesterol good but not optimal - and he switched medication from the controversial Vytorin that made headlines this past winter to a proven standby, simvastatin.
Now that McCain has laid his health records to bare, it's time for Sen. Barack Obama to lay out his health records in similar detail. Obama would become the youngest person elected president since John F. Kennedy. Despite Kennedy's appearance of youth and energy, he suffered from more serious health problems than any president in modern times--a fact unknown to most Americans until after he was assassinated. Obama, a former chain smoker, claims he gave up the bad habit a little more than a year ago, although at least one member of the news media has raised questions about the veracity of that claim.