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Sen. Specter has brain tumor removed

Sen. Arlen Specter, best known for his tough questioning of Anita Hill and proposing the single-bullet theory in the Kennedy assassination, underwent surgery Monday to remove a brain tumor.

Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania who performed the 2{-hour operation on the Republican U.S. senator said all signs indicate the growth was benign.

"The senator is awake and talking and appears in good spirits and neurologically normal," said Specter's son Shanin.

Shanin Specter said the growth apparently was a meningioma, a slow-growing, hard tumor that's rarely cancerous.

The 2-inch tumor was attached to the skull behind the senator's forehead, below the hairline on the left side, which is less threatening than a growth actually on the brain, his son said.

Although doctors did not know how long Specter had the tumor, they did say "a lesion of this form could have been there for up to 20 years," Shanin Specter said.

The tumor was discovered Friday at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., during an imaging test that Specter wanted doctors to take because of pains in his face and a tightness in his collarbone area, Shanin Specter said.

After consulting Dr. Eugene Flamm, chairman of the Philadelphia hospital's neurosurgery division and the doctor who led the seven-person operating team Monday, Specter decided to undergo the surgery. He entered the hospital Sunday evening.

Specter is expected to remain hospitalized for about a week.