Elizabeth Edwards Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Elizabeth Edwards Diagnosed With Breast Cancer (WaPo – AP)

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, was diagnosed with breast cancer the day her husband and Sen. John Kerry conceded the presidential race. Spokesman David Ginsberg said Mrs. Edwards, 55, discovered a lump in her right breast while on a campaign trip last week. Her family doctor told her Friday that it appeared to be cancerous and advised her to see a specialist when she could. She put off the appointment until Wednesday so as not to miss campaign time.

The Edwards family went straight to Massachusetts General Hospital from Boston’s Faneuil Hall after Kerry and Edwards conceded on Wednesday. Mrs. Edwards had a needle biopsy performed at the hospital, where Dr. Barbara Smith confirmed the cancer, Ginsberg said. He said the cancer was diagnosed as invasive ductal cancer. That is the most common type of breast cancer, and can spread from the milk ducts to other parts of the breast or beyond.

More tests were being done to determine how far the cancer has advanced and how to treat it, he said. Ginsberg said spirits are high at the Edwards household. “Everybody feels good about it, that this is beatable,” he said.

Talk about your bad days. My hopes for a full recovery.

Update (11/11): A Message from Elizabeth Edwards, including her e-mail address for well wishers.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Patti Keane says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Edwards family. Does anyone know how I might be able to acquire an email address for John and Elizabeth Edwards? Thank you.

  2. Marlene Pearson says:

    Dear Elizabeth Edwards,
    We are so thankful that your cancer has not spread. We will continue to pray for you and your family during this difficult time. Our hearts are heavy about the election outcome, your husband and John Kerry would have been such a wonderful president/vp, but we must go on, and pray for the county/world. God bless you.
    MP in MN