Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said it was "good to be home" after flying home on Monday, one week after undergoing an aggressive and delicate surgery to treat a cancerous brain tumor.
Kennedy left the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday morning and arrived at his family's compound in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, just before noon.
Kennedy, wearing a beige, wide-brimmed hat, told reporters waiting outside his home it was "good to be home, good to be here."
The veteran Democratic senator was diagnosed last month with a malignant glioma, a lethal type of brain tumor, after having a seizure. A malignant glioma is one of the worst kinds of brain cancer, and malignant gliomas are diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year.
"His doctors are pleased with his progress since surgery a week ago, and he will continue to recuperate at home before starting the next phase of his treatment," Kennedy's office said in a statement.
Kennedy, 76, underwent the risky, 3 1/2-hour surgery last Monday to remove as much of the tumor as possible, a procedure aimed at improving the success of chemotherapy and radiation. His surgeon at Duke, Dr. Allan Friedman, said Monday that Kennedy "is making an excellent recovery."
"He will continue his recuperation at home in Massachusetts under the supervision of the very capable doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital," Friedman said in a statement.
Kennedy's son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, said he planned to have dinner with his father Monday night.
"My dad's doing great," the younger Kennedy said Monday after an appearance at Brown University. "He's benefited enormously from the surgery he received and he's on his way home, and we're so fortunate that, you know, he's going back to the place that he loves. ... Always makes him feel great being near the ocean."
Patrick Kennedy told the Providence Journal on Sunday his father was looking forward to returning to the Senate and working with Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on universal health care legislation should the Illinois senator win the White House.
"That is what he is talking and thinking about," Kennedy said. "It adds a great deal of poignancy to his recovery. But that's how he sees it _ he has to recover so he can get health care for the millions of people who don't have access to the care that we do."
Kennedy's family and doctors have released few details about his particular type of tumor, which plays a key role in determining his survival odds. Some cancer specialists have said Kennedy appears to have a glioblastoma multiforme _ a serious and tough-to-remove type of tumor _ because other kinds are more common in younger people.
Doctors familiar with the type of surgery have said it almost never leads to a cure, but radiation or chemotherapy treatments have a better chance of success because there's less tumor to fight.
AP reporter Martha Waggoner in Durham, North Carolina, contributed to this report.