Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has elected to discontinue medical treatment, his family said in a statement Friday. McCain was diagnosed with gliobastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, last summer. In the statement, the McCain family said that "the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict," and that McCain made the decision to stop treatment "with his usual strength of will." The 81-year-old has represented Arizona in the Senate since 1987. Before holding elected office, McCain was a captain in the U.S. Navy and earned a Purple Heart for his service in the Vietnam War, where he spent five years as a prisoner of war after being captured in 1967.

Scroll for 5 things you
need to know now